Osama Askar, chief of the unified command east of the canal, stressed on Monday that Sinai is completely under the army’s full control, noting that terrorists are being handed knockout blows.
The former commander of the Third Field Army said during his participation in the inauguration of the tree planting initiative in North Sinai’s Sahel El-Tina that army forces in North Sinai have achieved great success in combating terrorism and have dealt harsh blows against militants.
“Army is continuing its attacks against militants. Egyptians will receive good news regarding ongoing operations soon through the army’s official spokesperson,” he added according to state-run newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm.
Askar was promoted as a commander to a new military body formed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in 2015. The new joint military command was assigned to face terrorism east of the Suez Canal.
Al-Sisi formed the joint military command following deadly attacks in North Sinai that left at least 30 dead, both security personnel and civilians, in January 2015.
Not far from Sahel El-Tina, a police conscript was killed and 11 others were injured on Monday evening by an explosion caused by an improvised explosives device (IED) that targeted an armoured police vehicle that was in a carding operation south of Sheikh Zuweid, North Sinai based journalist told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity.
Injured conscripts were transferred immediately to Al-Arish military hospital to receive medical treatment, state-run Akhabr Al-Youm reported.
On Sunday evening, the deputy chief of central Sinai’s Al Qaseema police station was killed in Al-Arish after being targeted by militants from Sinai Province.
The Islamic State(IS)-affiliated group issued a statement in which it declared its responsibility and published photos on social media of weapons, a car, and personal belongings that it seized after the attack.
Military insurgency against army and police forces in North Sinai is still on the rise despite intensive military operations being carried out by the state targeting members of the IS-affiliated group Sinai Province.
Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis, represents a chronic headache to Egypt’s current regime as it continuously targets army and police members whom they consider “apostates” that must be killed.