Six militants believed to be members of Islamic State (IS)-affiliated “Sinai Province” were killed by security forces on Sunday morning during a security sweep in Al-Arish, a North Sinai based journalist told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity.
Police-affiliated forces were in El-Dehisha, an area south of the city, when militants opened fire on them which led to a shootout, the journalist said.
Through the security sweeps, 13 militant stationing points were destroyed. These are used by the terrorist group to launch attacks on a regular basis, he added. Additional farms and hideouts were destroyed, and 12 motorbikes burned.
Eight improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were safely detonated by a bomb squad, as part of the daily security sweeps being conducted currently. These had been planted on roads that see heavy traffic by army and police forces.
On Saturday, armed forces in North Sinai launched an hours-long intensive counter-terrorism military campaign in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish. Within the campaign, the forces foiled an attack targeting the Abu Tawila army checkpoint based east of Sheikh Zuweid.
“Sinai Province” militants opened fire on the conscripts based at the checkpoint; an exchange of fire left three militants killed.
Since 2013, state security forces represented in both the army and police have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province”, known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to IS and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the course of the last two years, the Egyptian Armed Forces launched counterattacks against militant stationing points across the Sinai Peninsula where the group is based, particularly in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish.