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Egypt: army allows North Sinai residents to return to villages

Egyptian policemen stand guard in the streets of North Sinai on 26 July 2018 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]
Egyptian policemen stand guard in the streets of North Sinai on 26 July 2018 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

The Egyptian army has allowed residents in North Sinai to return to their homes five years after evacuating them so that soldiers could confront "militants and terrorist operations" in the area. The army allowed the first families to return to their villages in North Sinai in June.

Major General Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha, the Governor of North Sinai, said on Sunday that citizens have returned to the villages of Al-Dhahier, Abu Al-Araj and Abu Fa'i, after the armed forces "cleansed them of terrorism". He did not specify the date or the number of people who have returned.

Shousha told local officials to provide "all necessary services" to the returning families. He also asked the executive bodies and central administration officers to organise daily visits to these villages to identify the people's needs and speed up the process.

In February 2018, the Egyptian army launched a military operation across the country, especially in Sinai, against armed organisations. The most notable of these was in North Sinai, as it had pledged allegiance to Daesh.

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