The Egyptian Armed Forces killed 36 militants across the cities of Al-Arish, Sheikh Zuweid, and Rafah in the North Sinai governorate during the continuation of Operation Martyr’s Right, according to a statement published on Sunday by an official spokesperson.
“In the context of the continuation of the third stage of Operation Martyr’s Right, forces from the second and third field armies, alongside air support and police forces, killed 36 militants through intensive airstrikes and artillery usage,” the statement read.
The third stage of Operation Martyr’s Right resulted in the destruction of 25 houses and 57 huts owned by militants as well as an explosives store. Ten trucks and motorbikes that were used by militants to attack state security checkpoints were also seized.
Naval forces have intensified inspection operations in the coastal areas surrounding Al-Arish in order to suspend any smuggling operations being carried out for militant groups, according to video footage published on the military spokesperson’s Facebook page.
Earlier this week, on Sunday morning, two police conscripts were reportedly killed, and three others were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated, targeting an armoured vehicle at a checkpoint south of Al-Arish, according to state-run Akhbar Al-Youm.
The injured conscripts were immediately transferred to Al-Arish military hospital after state security forces closed the surrounding roads in an attempt to arrest the perpetrators.
Contrary to the state-run newspaper’s narrative, an official statement issued by the Interior Ministry indicated that a police officer and a conscript were killed in the aforementioned attack and three other conscripts were injured.
Several social media pages affiliated to “Sinai Province” militant group circulated photos of a destroyed house in Al-Arish, which they claimed responsibility for exploding on Saturday evening. They also alleged that the house is owned by a major general in the police force and the attack was in response to recent state security operations carried out against militants.
North Sinai has been under a state of emergency since the term of interim president Adly Mansour, who came into office following Mohammed Morsi. The state of emergency was last extended in January 2016.