7 army personnel killed in fighting in North Sinai on Saturday - army spokesman

Sunday 19-07-2015 03:41 PM
7 army personnel killed in fighting in North Sinai on Saturday - army spokesman

A security checkpoint in Rafah on the borders, August 2012 - Reuters


CAIRO, Jul 19 (Aswat Masriya) - The death toll on the Egyptian army's side rose to seven by the end of fighting on Saturday, while the total number of militants killed remained at 59, armed forces spokesman said on Sunday.

The Egyptian armed forces backed by the air force targeted meeting points and headquarters belonging to militants across North Sinai, Spokesman Mohamed Samir said in a statement. 

The army is still determining the number of militants killed in airstrikes, Samir said. 

Violence in North Sinai has remained high throughout Saturday. 

The state news agency MENA reported a militant attack on a security checkpoint in Sheikh Zuweid late Saturday, killing five security personnel and injuring seven more.

The Islamic State-affiliated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement shared by its supporters on twitter. The group, which changed its name to Sinai Province, said it also attacked another checkpoint in North Sinai, as well as forces securing the al-Gora airport.

Aswat Masriya could not independently verify the authenticity of the militant group's statement.

Militancy inside Egypt has seen a significant rise since the military ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, following mass protests against his rule. Most attacks target security forces in North Sinai.

On July 1, a number of security checkpoints and a police station in the town of Sheikh Zuweid were attacked by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, in what was labelled as a failed attempt to take over the town. 

The attacks claimed the lives of 17 army personnel and and no less than 100 militants, according to military figures. 

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