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Egyptian army kills 14 gunmen in northern Sinai

Nov. 13, 2016 5:19 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 13, 2016 5:19 P.M.)
(File)
CAIRO (Ma’an) -- The Egyptian army said in a statement on Sunday that its forces attacked various “terrorist sites" and killed 14 gunmen in the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid in the northern Sinai Peninsula. 

The statement said the Egyptian army was carrying out ongoing security operations in the northern and central districts of the Sinai against “terrorism.”

According to the army, the 14 deceased gunmen were members of the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group.

The statement added that Egyptian destroyed five shelters and five orchards which the targeted militants were using as forts and training grounds. 

Egyptian forces blew up 10 explosive devices that were planted by the group with the alleged intention of targeting Egyptian security forces. 

The army also destroyed an armored car, four vehicles, a motorcycle and a number of buildings in which supplies and weapons were being stored.

The Sinai Peninsula has been the stage of ongoing attacks, particularly targeting Egyptian military and police forces, which have increased since Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi took power from democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

The Egyptian president came under attack following his violent suppression of Muslim Brotherhood members following his rise to power, which Sisi has argued is necessary to deter future attacks in the Sinai and across Egypt.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the militant group responsible for a majority of attacks on military personnel, aligned with the Islamic State group in November 2014, changing its name to Sinai Province.

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