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Egyptian Military: We won’t stop until Sinai is clear of terror

Egypt experiences it’s deadliest day in decades leaving scores dead, and an army embroiled in battle with ISIS linked terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

Egyptian military officials responded harshly to a string of coordinated attacks in the Sinai Peninsula Wednesday, confidently declaring that military efforts would continue in the region “until Sinai is clear of all terror.”

Dozens of Islamic militants unleashed a wave of simultaneous attacks, including suicide car bombings, on Egyptian army checkpoints in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, which officials say killed at least 64 soldiers – a figure which contrasts the 17 deaths reported by the Egyptian Army.

According to the Egyptians, some 100 armed militants were killed in the army’s fierce reaction to the attacks in which they claimed that 17 soldiers were killed while another 13 were wounded.”The armed forces where able to neutralize the terrorists and prevent them from reaching their objectives,” said the officials. “We killed no less than 100 terrorists and injured many others, in addition to destroying 20 vehicles operated by the terrorists.

1Egyptian air force strikes in Sinai

“We are conducting a difficult and unrelenting war against this terror. We want to make it clear to our people that we have the will and drive to remove the terror from its roots. We won’t stop until Sinai is clear of all terror, and our beloved homeland will be stable and secure,” the Egyptian military said in the wake of the deadliest battle in Sinai since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

The advanced planning and coordinated execution of the attacks show that the long-running insurgency in the area is growing stronger, posing a serious threat to Egypt’s security as the military-backed government struggles to restore stability after years of unrest since a 2011 uprising.

The assault came a day after Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi pledged to step up the battle against Islamic militants and two days after the chief prosecutor was assassinated in the capital, Cairo.

Later Wednesday, a Special Forces team killed nine members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, including a former member of parliament, in a raid on an apartment in Cairo’s Sixth of October district, security officials said.

The team was fired upon when they entered the home and returned fire, killing the nine men. No security forces were wounded, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief the press.

One of the dead was Nasr al-Hafi, a former deputy in the lower house of parliament for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, while the other was a Brotherhood leader, Abdel-Fattah Mohamed Ibrahim.

Egyptian officials and pro-government media have blamed a series of recent attacks on ousted President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which is officially branded a terrorist group. The Brotherhood has denied involvement in the attacks, many of which have been claimed by other groups, including the Sinai-based militants behind Wednesday’s coordinated assault, who are loyal to the Islamic State group.


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