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The New Arab

Eight killed in IS ambush in Egypt's restive Sinai

Egypt has launched an operation against IS in the restive Sinai region [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 September, 2019

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Seven soldiers and one civilian were killed in an Islamic State militant ambush in Egypt’s North Sinai region on Friday, security sources said.
An Islamic State militant attack killed seven soldiers and one civilian in Egypt’s North Sinai region on Friday, security sources said.

The ambush in Bir al-Abed also injured two soldiers, the two security sources said, although IS claimed 15 soldiers had been killed in the attack.

The claim, published in a statement carried by IS’ Amaq agency, could not be verified.

Egypt has for years been fighting an insurgency in North Sinai, which escalated following the military's 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests.

Comment: When Morsi was ousted, so was Egypt's democracy

Since then, hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been killed in jihadist attacks.

Egyptian security officials said in July that militants had beheaded four people in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

The IS-linked militants have carried out scores of attacks, in Egypt mainly targeting the security forces and minority Christians. 

In late 2017, North Sinai was the scene of the deadliest attack in Egypt's modern history when militants killed more than 300 worshippers at a mosque, without any group claiming responsibility.

In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide operation against the militants, focusing mainly on North Sinai.

Some 650 militants and around 45 soldiers have been killed since, according to a tally based on statements by the armed forces.

No independently verified death toll is available and the region is largely cut off to journalists.

On Friday, Egypt’s Defence Ministry said security forces had killed 118 militants in north and central Sinai in the “past period”, without giving dates.

However the Egyptian government has recently begun organising occasional media visits, closely supervised by the military.

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