Egypt’s military kills 19, arrests 20 in Sinai operation

Vehicles of Egyptian Army and police special forces are seen in the troubled northern part of the Sinai peninsula (Ministry of Defense/Handout via Reuters)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Egypt’s military kills 19, arrests 20 in Sinai operation

  • The militants were killed in operations over the past few days
  • Hundreds have died since the military operations began in the troubled region

CAIRO: Egypt’s military and police forces have killed 19 militants in an exchange of gunfire and arrested 20 suspects, in a continuing crackdown in Sinai, the military said in a statement on Thursday.
Security forces launched a large-scale security operation in February to crush militants who have waged an insurgency that has killed hundreds of security forces and residents over many years.
The statement said the militants were killed over the past few days.
Their deaths bring the total of those killed since the beginning of the operation to at least 296 including 35 military personnel, according to Reuters calculations based on military statements.
Militants in Sinai intensified their attacks after the ousting by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the military in 2013 of Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood
Defeating Islamists and restoring security after years of unrest that followed Egypt’s 2011 popular uprising has been a promise of El-Sisi, who was re-elected in March in a landslide victory against no real opposition.


Cyclone death toll in Oman, Yemen rises to 11: authorities

Updated 54 min 30 sec ago
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Cyclone death toll in Oman, Yemen rises to 11: authorities

  • Cyclone Mekunu left a path of distruction, flooding towns and causing extensive damage
  • One of the dead is a 12-year-old girl who was hit in the head with a door that blew open

SALALAH, Oman: The death toll from a cyclone that battered southern Oman and the Yemeni island of Socotra has reached 11, while eight sailors are still missing, authorities said.
Cyclone Mekunu hit Oman’s Dhofar and Al-Wusta provinces on Friday after intensifying from a category one to a category two cyclone, with winds of up to 170 kilometers (over 100 miles) per hour after it made landfall on Socotra on Thursday.
Oman’s civil defense service on Saturday reported two deaths, adding to an earlier toll of a man and a 12-year-old girl.
“The third is an Asian man who was missing but his body was found late Saturday in Dhofar” province, spokesman Lt. Col. Saeed Al-Badaei said at a press conference late Saturday.
“The fourth is a young Omani man who was swept away in his car by flooding,” he added.
Socotra’s governor Ramzy Mahrous said on Sunday that the death toll on the island remained seven — five Yemenis and two Indian sailors. A further eight Indian sailors remain missing.
The southeastern part of the island remains cut off, but authorities are working to access the area and assess damage, Mahrous told AFP.
Around 1,000 families on Socotra, with a population of around 60,000, were evacuated after their homes were damaged.
The main road linking the airport to Hadibo, the island’s main city, has been reopened, Mahrous said.
Oman’s meteorology directorate announced late Saturday that “the direct effects of the tropical system are over.”
Cyclone Mekunu has now been downgraded to the category of “deep depression.”
Late Saturday it struck Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter, one of the world’s most arid deserts, with ongoing heavy rains and strong winds.
The Saudi meteorological authority said on Twitter Sunday that winds blew at 60 kilometers (over 35 miles) per hour, kicking up blinding dust storms.
Rains are expected to continue for two more days, drenching the area with more than 100 millimeters (four inches) of rain, almost six times its annual average, Amman-based weather experts WASM said on Twitter.