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Egypt Targets Sinai Militants in Air and Ground Raids

Egypt Targets Sinai Militants in Air and Ground Raids

Saturday, 10 February, 2018 - 11:15
An Egyptian policeman gestures from an observation tower seen from the Israeli side of the border with Egypt's Sinai peninsula, in Israel's Negev Desert in this February 10, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/Files

Egypt's air force pounded militant targets in northern and central Sinai early on Saturday, the military said, the second day of a major operation against extremists across swathes of territory.

The military said its warplanes struck "terrorist concentrations and hideouts" in northern and central Sinai through the night and into the early hours of Saturday, targeting weapons depots and logistics support areas.

On the ground, special forces, working with police, conducted raids inside cities in Sinai to arrest militants, military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said.

Border guards and naval forces were securing the Suez Canal to make sure navigation through the international waterway was not affected, the statement said.

The spokesman gave no details on any casualties in Operation Sinai 2018 or any figures on the number of people arrested, but said the assault would continue.

"The armed forces and the police assert their determination to uproot terrorism and to achieve peace and stability," Rifai said, according to the statement.

The spokesman said in a televised address on Friday that the goal of the operation is to tighten control of border districts and "clean up areas where there are terrorist hotbeds.”

Apart from Sinai, the operation would also cover parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert.

State television said on Friday that all schools in North Sinai had been ordered shut from Saturday until further notice.

The Suez Canal Authority chairman said the waterway was operating normally.

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