Published: Mon, February 12, 2018

Egypt's Military Touts Anti-Terror Operation With Top-Line Weapons, Boats

Egypt's Military Touts Anti-Terror Operation With Top-Line Weapons, Boats

The operation was started on Friday in response to a pickup in extremist violence in Egypt.

The operation will also target militants in the Nile Delta and in western Egypt.

"The Salafi Call, like all the Egyptian people, stands behind its army in its war on terrorism, and prays to God to help it [the military] prevent [terrorists] from corrupting the land", the group said in a statement late on Saturday.

Twenty militants were arrested on Sunday by paramilitary Frontier Corps in an intelligence-based military operation in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

A video recording posted on social media, purportedly from a group affiliated to Islamic State, appeared to showed masked militants executing soldiers and civilians they accused of collaborating with security forces.

Security forces also uncovered and destroyed six farms used to grow banned narcotics, the statement said.

The operation was launched as part of the efforts to reach the three-month deadline set by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to eliminate terrorism after the mosque attack that killed 310 people in the northern Sinai city of Arish in November, 2017.

The New York Times says Israeli warplanes have carried out covert air strikes in Egypt with the Egyptian president's approval.

In a Facebook posting on his account, Sisi wrote: "I follow with pride the heroic actions of my sons in the armed forces and police to clear Egypt's territory of terrorist elements".

Army spokesman Tamer Al Rifai said the extremists had been killed and detained during a "sweep and northern and central Sinai".

In Cairo, the Egyptian Interior Ministry announced the deaths of three alleged members of the Hasm terror group in the capital but did not offer further details, in a statement published by the official MENA news agency.

The offensive comes ahead a March vote that will undoubtedly see Mr El Sisi win a second four-year term.

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