Military kills 52 suspected militants in Sinai

Egyptian security forces pressing a campaign against hardliner militants have killed 52 suspected militants in the Sinai Peninsula in operations in which three soldiers also died, the army said on Monday.

The military launched a sweeping operation in February focused on the Sinai in eastern Egypt aimed at wiping out militants, including from the Daesh group, who have been waging a bloody insurgency.

On Monday, the military said that 52 “takfiris” or extremists were killed in two separate operations by security forces in the restive peninsula.

Three members of the armed forces were also killed in these operations, it said in a statement, without stating when they took place.

The military has regularly reported operations in the Sinai since it launched the campaign.

According to official figures, a total of more than 350 suspected militants and at least 30 soldiers have been killed in the “Sinai 2018” campaign.

Security sources said last week that local Daesh leader Abu Hamza Al Maqdisi had been killed in an air raid on the Sinai. The extremist group confirmed his death.

Militants have killed hundreds of police officers and soldiers in the Sinai since the ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi in 2013.

A couple of days ago US First lady Melania Trump visited Egypt and she held a one-hour meeting with President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and his wife at the palace.

The visit came as Egyptian security forces face a persistent insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula across the Suez Canal to the northeast.

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