A total of seven soldiers have now been confirmed dead in North Sinai, after three deaths were initially announced Saturday night, the military spokesperson said Sunday.
The deaths occurred after a rocket attack on a checkpoint in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid.
Earlier in the day, the armed forces said it had intensified its operations in the restive Sinai Peninsula, announcing it had killed 59 alleged militants Saturday in different confrontations.
The armed forces’ media office was not immediately available for confirmation of whether the latest victims were the remaining four soldiers injured in the same operation. The operation was allegedly conducted by militant group “State of Sinai”, according to alleged claims through social media accounts.
However, military spokesperson Mohammed Samir slammed those reports, saying: “Terrorists recurred to publishing propaganda and fake victories to cover their important losses against the army.” Nonetheless, it took the army another twelve hours before announcing ‘correct’ numbers.
The Sinai-based terrorist group’s statement reportedly claiming responsibility for the attack only said “many” soldiers had been killed.
However, it was not just militant reports which contradicted official military statistics, as state-run news agency MENA, quoting unnamed security sources, reported five dead and seven injured.
Whilst the ongoing battle between the army and the terrorist group has also included a ‘media war’, a new ‘anti-terrorism’ law, currently under revision, stipulates that media outlets should not publish information on military operation other than “official statistics”.