18 militants killed in Egypt
At least 18 militants were killed Wednesday in a security raid on their hideouts in Egypt's North Sinai province, a security official said.
"The security forces conducted two raids in Sheikh Zuweid city and killed 18 militants, most of whom belonged to Al Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group," the official told Xinhua, noting that the extremists had four vehicles equipped with artillery and explosives.
The raids came right after unknown militants shot an Egyptian officer dead in North Sinai's Arish city Wednesday. In nearby Rafah city, at least 11 policemen were killed Tuesday as extremists targeted a police armoured vehicle by planting an explosive device underneath.
Over the past couple of days, the security forces in the restive Sinai Peninsula killed dozens of extremist militants in response to their attacks against police and security targets.
Militant attacks have surged in Sinai and other provinces including the capital Cairo since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the military in July 2013 and the following harsh crackdown on his supporters that left at least 1,000 people killed while thousands of others were arrested.
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group, which is branded by Egypt and the US as "a terrorist organisation", claimed responsibility for most of the attacks against the security personnel.
(Posted on 03-09-2014)