Army units affiliated to the second field army launched a military sweeping operation on Tuesday in some regions in North Sinai that left six militants killed. The campaign targeted militants and other suspects who are involved in terrorising civilians in North Sinai’s cities. According to the statement that was released by the official spokesperson of the army, the Air Forces struck against four stationing points associated with militants; other forces also discovered and destroyed two tunnels inside the city of Rafah. “Army forces also managed to blow up a storage that contained motorbikes used by militants, as well as detonating four Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) that had been prepared to be used against army and police forces moving around North Sinai”, the army spokesperson’s statement read. Meanwhile, the continuous sweeping operations of the army inside the city of Al-Arish targeted areas used by the militants as stationing points and centres from where they launched their Attacks. The sweeping operation continued through a number of farms inside the city of Al-Arish that were regularly used as hiding places for militants, who are believed to be members of the IS affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province’. The operation resulted in the injury of an army officer and five other conscripts due to an IED explosion that targeted their armoured vehicle.
Following the unprecedented exodus of Coptic citizens from the North Sinai city of Al-Arish due to militants’ threats, the army official spokesperson said in a Facebook statement that forces managed on Monday to kill six militants and arrest 18 suspects in North Sinai in a sweeping operation. According to the statement, the operation targeted terrorists’ stationing points, which led to the discovery of two explosives-storages. “As a continuation to the armed efforts in eliminating terrorists’ stationing points, army forces located in North Sinai managed to kill six militants, arrest 18 suspects, discover two explosives’ storages, and destroy eight improvised explosive devices [IEDs]”, the statement read. Despite these efforts, the wave of violence and militant activity are on the rise. On Sunday, militants, who threatened to punish those who are not accompanied by a male relative, stopped a bus of female teachers in Rafah. The militants told the female teachers that not wearing a veil while going to their workplace and without the accompaniment of a male relative is considered a kind of apostasy. Meanwhile, other anonymous militants—believed to be members of Sinai Province—brought a civilian—suspected to be an informant for the army—to the village of El Hosynat, west of Rafah, and brutally killed him. Since February, seven Copts have been killed in Al-Arish, five of which have been shot and two have been burnt to death. In the latest incident, the corpses of two Coptic citizens have been found thrown behind a state-run language school. Last week, under the name of the “Islamic State in Egypt” and with the headline of “Fight All Infidels”, the IS-affiliated group released a new video, issuing fierce threats against the Coptic citizens of Egypt, accusing them of insulting Islam, and threatening to carry out more attacks against them.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday that two Russian officers working for the center for Syrian reconciliation were injured in a militants’ attack near the Castello Road in Aleppo. The humanitarian corridor that is open for the exit of armed militants from Aleppo and located in the western part of Aleppo’s Castello Road was shelled by militants from the east of the city on Friday, the ministry said. The lives of Russian officers are not under threat as they were lightly injured and evacuated to a safe area in Aleppo.