The Egyptian army announced on Friday that it had killed six armed extremists in North Sinai, Anadolu has reported. As part of the same security sweep, the army also destroyed a tunnel on the border with the besieged Gaza Strip.
“The army killed six very dangerous extremists and wounded four others,” said spokesman Tamer Al-Refae. “At the same time, four weapons’ caches were destroyed, including around 350 explosive devices.”
Anadolu could not confirm the news from independent sources, noting that the Egyptian army always describes the members of armed groups in Sinai as “takfirists”. One of the most active groups in the area is Ansar Baytul Maqdis, which announced its affiliation with Daesh in 2014 and changed its name to Wilayat Sinai or “the Governorate of Sinai”.
Army bases and police stations in Sinai are subject to frequent attacks by extremists. Dozens of officers have been killed and wounded in such attacks, for which the extremist groups usually claim responsibility.
As part of its role in tightening the siege on Gaza, since mid-2015 the Egyptian army has been flooding the border area with seawater. Tunnels under the border are used to smuggle essential goods into the Gaza Strip and have been described as the territory’s “lifeline”.