Egypt says 3 soldiers killed in campaign against militants

Above, armored vehicles of the Egyptian army on their way to Sinai during a launch of a major assault against militants in this handout picture made available by the Ministry of Defense. (Ministry of Defense via Reuters)
Updated 19 February 2018
0

Egypt says 3 soldiers killed in campaign against militants

CAIRO: Three Egyptian soldiers have been killed in a 10-day-old campaign against militants focused on the Sinai peninsula, Egypt’s military said on Monday.
It was the first time the military has reported its own casualties since it launched the operation on February 9. The statement did not say where or when the soldiers had died.
The military says it has killed dozens of militants and arrested hundreds of suspected fighters and criminals in the operation, which is taking place ahead of a three-month deadline that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi set to clear North Sinai of militants.
A group of Sinai-based militants swore allegiance to Daesh in 2014. Attacks by the militants have killed hundreds of soldiers and police and scores of civilians.
Sissi is seeking re-election in March when he will run virtually unopposed.


Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

Updated 58 min 4 sec ago
0

Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

  • Israel reduced the fishing limit to 10 nautical miles
  • The countries agreed to 20 nautical miles in the Oslo accords of 1990s

JERUSALEM: Israel reduced the offshore fishing limits it imposes for vessels operating out of Gaza from Thursday after Palestinians floated balloons fitted with incendiaries over the border, officials said.
The cut came just two days after Israel restored the limits to those set in April ahead of an Israeli general election.
“A decision was taken this Wednesday evening to reduce the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip to 10 nautical miles until further notice,” said COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations.
“The decision was taken after the launch of incendiary balloons from Gaza toward Israel,” it added.
Palestinians in Gaza have frequently floated balloons fitted with firebombs over the border to damage Israeli property and have in the past succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.
Israel banned fishing completely when two days of deadly violence erupted earlier this month, but lifted the ban with a restriction of up to 12 nautical miles following a truce.
The 15-nautical-mile limit that had been restored on Tuesday was the largest allowed in years by Israel, which has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in the enclave and has blockaded it for more than a decade.
But human rights activists note that it still falls short of the 20 nautical miles agreed under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
Israeli authorities have not said whether the 15-mile limit was one of the understandings reached as part of the May 6 cease-fire in Gaza but Israel media reported on Monday that it was.
The additional nautical miles are important to Gaza fishermen as they bring more valuable, deeper water species within reach.
Four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, were killed in this month’s exchanges across the border.