Military: Sinai operation against militants is ongoing

The Armed Forces are still fighting suspected militants in Sinai, the general command of the Armed Forces said Sunday night in a statement clarifying developments of their operation in the area.

Army and police forces have been leading operations seeking to clear the Sinai Peninsula from extremist havens since a bloody attack on an Army checkpoint at the Israel border on 5 August left 16 officers dead.

Armed Forces spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali said military and police forces launched a campaign against extremist and criminal groups at Moqataa village, southeast of Sheikh Zuwayed, adding that 10 leading gangsters have been arrested and handed to the North Sinai Police Department.

The statement said one soldier was killed, and seven security forces members and three passers-by were injured by gunfire.

Ali said the Armed Forces ensure the safety of civilians during the operations, which he said are being conducted based on reliable information.

Bedouin tribesmen and journalists reporting from Sinai have cast some doubts over the seriousness of the military operation, claiming that no substantial military activity is being witnessed in Sinai. Human rights organizations had raised concerns about possible arbitrary killings in the region.

Ali also asked media outlets and Internet users not to circulate unofficial information or rumors related to the Armed Forces and Sinai operations in particular.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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