On the 17th day of the extensive armed operation Sinai 2018, military spokesperson Tamer El-Refaie announced on Tuesday, that the Egyptian Armed Forces has successfully aborted an attempted suicide attack carried out by terrorist elements, and that four militants wearing explosive belts were also killed during the operation.
El-Refaie said that four military personnel have been killed during the ongoing armed operation, while another seven have been wounded.
El-Refaie added that air forces destroyed 20 sites that were reported as dens for militants, in addition to two suicide cars bombs, while artillery forces destroyed another 185 sites. He also stated that the armed forces have discovered an underground weapons cache, which contained different anti-personnel, and anti-tank weapons.
Furthermore, the statement indicated that the air force destroyed “technical” vehicles while they were trying to infiltrate Egypt’s southern borders.
According to the statement, a number of TNT and C-4 explosives were found and confiscated, in addition to 1,282 hideouts and three tunnels being destroyed.
With regards to Egypt’s western borders, El-Refaie explained that border guards foiled an attempt to smuggle 30 firearms and four illegal immigration attempts, arresting 419 infiltrators of different nationalities.
Egypt is currently battling several armed groups, concentrated mainly in the Sinai Peninsula, since the ouster of Islamist former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Since then, shootings that target security personnel and state officials have become a near-weekly occurrence in Egypt.
Since then, state security forces have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province”, a group previously known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis affiliated with the Islamic State group (IS).
In November 2017, Al-Sisi vowed to restore stability by eradicating terrorism, placing the military and police in charge of completing the task within a period of three months. This had followed a massive first-of-its-kind terror attack on a mosque in Al-Arish city, which killed at least 305 citizens.