Egyptian security forces have “eliminated” at least seven suspected members of a terror outfit affiliated to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the restive North Sinai region during a counterterrorism operation, which also left 15 government forces either killed or wounded.
According to Egypt’s military spokesperson Tamer el-Refai, the suspected militants were slain in an “exchange of fire” after they “attacked one of the security checkpoints in North Sinai” on Saturday morning.
He added that “an officer” was also killed in the clashes and “14 non-commissioned soldiers” sustained injuries.
However, medical sources in North Sinai told AFP that 11 government troopers had been killed in the attack.
Over the past few years, terrorists have been carrying out anti-government activities and fatal attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil in Egypt that erupted after the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military coup in July 2013.
El-Refai did not mention the name of the terror group but the Velayat Sinai terror outfit, which pledged allegiance to Daesh in 2014, has claimed responsibility for most of the assaults across Egypt, particularly those in the Sinai region, where the group is based.
The terror group, previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has mainly attacked security forces in the restive region of Sinai Peninsula since its inception in 2013. The terrorists have so far killed hundreds of members of security forces.
Egypt says its security forces have killed 40 militants in Giza and Sinai regions.
Last month, a bomb blast claimed the life of a police officer and inflicted wounds on two others outside a church in Nasr City on the edge of Cairo. The deadly explosion took place when security personnel were trying to defuse an explosive device.
The Egyptian army last year launched a full-scale counterterrorism military campaign, dubbed “Sinai 2018,” on an order of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, after a terror attack in North Sinai claimed the lives of more than 300 people at a mosque.
The army says more than 550 suspected terrorists have been slain in the anti-terror campaign, which has also targeted militants elsewhere in the African country, at the cost of more than 30 government forces.
By Africafrique and agencies