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Police sergeant and seven alleged militants killed in separate incidents in Sinai - Daily News Egypt

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Police sergeant and seven alleged militants killed in separate incidents in Sinai

Insurgency and military operations against militants continue in North Sinai

A police sergeant was killed in Al-Arish on Wednesday afternoon, hours after seven alleged militants were killed and six were injured during a military operation in the morning.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said the attack on the sergeant occurred just outside his house.

“We are still looking into the circumstances surrounding the attack,” he added.

As part of the military operation in the morning, 11 suspected militants were also arrested, state-run Al-Ahram reported.

Khalid El-Kesha, a former brigadier general of the Egyptian army and military analyst said “the operation [on Wednesday morning] depended heavily on intelligence sources,” El-Kesha mentioned.

He said the military raid was “a continuation of operations directed at militants in Sinai who are conducting terrorist operations like kidnappings and beheadings” and added “that escalation by these militants will take the form of targeting army and police officials”.

In the current northern Sinai security clamp down, security forces have destroyed a number of buildings used by suspected militants and more than 1,700 smuggling tunnels along the Rafah crossing.

Since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, armed groups have been targeting security personnel, especially in the North Sinai region.

The murder of the police sergeant comes one day after an attack on a security convoy in North Sinai left one officer and ten conscripts dead, after it hit a landmine planted on the road. The perpetrators of the attack are still unknown.

Three militants were killed on Monday during clashes with the armed forces in Sheikh Zuweid, reported state-run news agency MENA.

On 28 June, unidentified gunmen stopped a bus transporting police officers and shot four of them dead nearby Al-Arish.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs factsheet places the death toll for terrorist activities since January 2011 to April 2014 at 971, including 477 policemen and 187 army personnel.

While previous attacks mainly targeted working security forces on duty, there has been a trend in recent months, in which off-duty police officers are killed. More than a dozen police officers have been killed in drive-by attacks in the Nile Delta governorate of Sharqeya alone. Almost all of these attacks were perpetrated by armed men on motorcycles, striking police officers on their way home from work.

Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, an Al-Qaeda-inspired militant organisation based in Sinai, has claimed the majority of violent attacks against police and army forces.

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