The air force conducted an airstrike against four houses belonging to Takfiri (extremist) elements in Sheikh Zuweid last Thursday, army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali announced Friday evening.
The statement mentioned that the airstrike killed 13 Takfiri elements and injured seven others who were meeting in the house of a Takfiri called Soliman Adhameesh, also known as Abu Omar.
The airstrike also destroyed the four houses, along with a four-wheel drive vehicle armed with an anti-aircraft machinegun, according to the statement.
The Sinai peninsula has seen a number of military operations of late, as a reaction to attacks on military forces based there. The security situation on the peninsula deteriorated after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July, although the initial attack took place in August 2012, killing 15 conscripts as they broke their fast during Ramadan.
A group calling itself Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis had claimed responsibility for shooting down a military helicopter in North Sinai last Saturday among other attacks targeting South Sinai Security Directorate and several incidents of targeting military personnel.
Takfiri groups are extremist militants that consider security forces “infidels” and call for their killing. The exact numbers and order of these groups remain unannounced, except for Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis a group which has consistently claimed responsibility for such acts of violence.
Religious body Dar Al-Eftaa has meanwhile warned of the severity of some “extremist fatwas” that declare security forces “infidels” if they die on duty and forbids them from a Muslim funeral ceremony.
Dar Al-Eftaa, as the state religious body tasked with issuing fatwas – or Islamic religious rulings – has dismissed such extremist fatwas as “false”, and accused those behind them as “mentally and scientifically incompetent” to issue them.
A fatwa is a religious consultation that must be approved by a qualified Muslim scholar and is not binding to the one asking for it.