Egypt’s air force struck a unit of the Ansar Beit Al-Maqdi group, killing 12 members of the Islamic State (IS) affiliated group and destroying four vehicles, military spokesperson Tamer Al-Refaei said in a statement Tuesday.
Al-Refaei added in another statement that forces belonging to the third field army arrested two militants in central Sinai and discovered large sums of money in their possession.
Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi praised the national role of the armed forces in confronting terrorism and securing the nations’ borders day and night. During his attendance at a Ramadan breakfast meal (iftar) with a number of military leaders and soldiers, Sobhi honoured the outstanding leaders, officers, and soldiers.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis group declared its affiliation to the Islamic State (IS) group in 2014 and has since then launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Throughout 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.
Egypt is currently battling several armed groups concentrated mainly in the Sinai Peninsula, since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
A state of emergency in North Sinai was first declared in 2013 by then-interim president Adly Mansour, who came into power following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. It has been extended following this year’s extremist attacks on Coptic churches during Palm Sunday.
All over the country, a state of emergency has been declared last April, when the government approved an emergency state declaration for three months after the approval of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. This came following two separate attacks on churches during Palm Sunday prayers, which killed more than 40 people and injured over 100 others.