Egypt says 21 jihadists killed in Sinai

By: AFP      Published: 04:46 PM, 23 May, 2020
Egypt says 21 jihadists killed in Sinai

Egypt said Saturday that 21 jihadists were killed in clashes with security forces in the restive Sinai peninsula, where Islamic State group-affiliated militants have waged a long-running insurgency.

The interior ministry said in a statement that police raided two hideouts of "terrorist elements" in North Sinai governorate, sparking a gunbattle in which two officers were also wounded. It said the two groups had been planning attacks during the major Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which starts in Egypt on Sunday.

Security forces had found automatic weapons and suicide belts in the hideouts. Security forces have been battling a long-running Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula -- in Egypt's northeast -- that is spearheaded by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

The fighting intensified after the military's 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. In February 2018, security forces launched a nationwide operation against militants, focused on North Sinai.

Around 950 suspected militants have been killed in the region along with dozens of security personnel, according to official figures.