Egypt forces have killed 38 militants in major operation

Egyptian Army's Armoured Vehicles are seen on a highway to North Sinai during a launch of a major assault against militants, in Ismailia, Egypt. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Egypt forces have killed 38 militants in major operation

CAIRO: Egypt’s military said Tuesday it has killed 38 militants and arrested more than 500 suspects days after launching a major operation against an Daesh group affiliate in Sinai.
The military said it had killed 10 “extremely dangerous” extremists, in addition to 28 jihadists it had previously announced as having been killed.
A statement added that 400 “criminal elements and suspects” had been arrested, having previously announced the arrest of 126 people.
The dead militants had been “hiding inside a house in the vicinity of El-Arish city (North Sinai province’s capital) following a shoot-out,” spokesman Col. Tamer Al-Rifai said in the statement.
The operation has also destroyed several vehicles and warehouses, he said.
On Friday, the military announced the start of “Operation Sinai 2018” in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel, the central Nile Delta and the Western Desert near the border with Libya.
The security sweep comes as President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi seeks re-election in March, after a first term in office that has seen him crack down on an insurgency and other opponents.
Egypt’s security forces have been increasingly targeted by militants since the army — then headed by Sissi — overthrew president Muhammad Mursi in 2013.
Militants linked to Daesh and based in North Sinai have waged a deadly insurgency against the country’s security forces.
Egypt’s air force and navy have also been taking part in the operation, with the Sinai sweep focusing on targets in the north and center of the peninsula.


Algeria frees journalist month into one year jail term

Updated 24 January 2019
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Algeria frees journalist month into one year jail term

  • The journalist was arrested on December 9 during a protest in Algiers
  • He was previously arrested on October 22 on allegations of blackmail

ALGIERS: An Algerian court has released a journalist a month after he was sentenced to one year in jail for taking part in an unauthorised protest, his lawyer said.
Adlene Mellah, who heads the news websites Algerie Direct and Dzair Presse, was arrested on December 9 for attending a rally in support of an imprisoned singer.
He was found guilty of unlawful assembly and sentenced to one year in jail on December 25.
On Wednesday a court in Algiers gave him a suspended six-month sentence and released him on appeal, said the lawyer, Noureddine Benissad.
Mellah was first arrested on October 22 in a separate case of alleged blackmail, before being released a month later.
He still faces charges of blackmail, defamation and invasion of privacy in that case which is due go before a court on February 7.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranked Algeria 136th out of 180 countries on its press freedom index for 2018.