Egyptian troops kill 52 militants in Sinai

Vehicles of Egyptian Army and police special forces are seen in the troubled northern part of the Sinai peninsula during a launch of a major assault against militants, in Al Arish, Egypt. (Reuters)
Updated 05 August 2018
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Egyptian troops kill 52 militants in Sinai

  • Egypt launched a nationwide operation against militants in February
  • The military says airstrikes destroyed 32 vehicles containing weapons and ammunition in the Western Desert and in the south

CAIRO: Egypt says its security forces have killed at least 52 suspected militants in recent days in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula.
The military said in a statement Sunday that another 49 suspected militants have been arrested. It says it destroyed 26 hideouts and weapons depots, and dismantled 64 explosive devices.
The military says airstrikes destroyed 32 vehicles containing weapons and ammunition in the Western Desert and in the south.
It wasn’t possible to independently confirm the claims as access to the northern Sinai is heavily restricted.
Egypt launched a nationwide operation against militants in February. It has struggled to combat a long-running insurgency in the Sinai that gained strength after the military overthrew a divisive Islamist president in 2013 and which is now affiliated with the Daesh.


US sanctions over Iran oil will ‘intensify Mideast turmoil’: China

Updated 29 min 5 sec ago
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US sanctions over Iran oil will ‘intensify Mideast turmoil’: China

  • Foreign ministry spokesman: US operating outside its jurisdiction in unilaterally imposing the sanctions
  • China is one of Iran’s biggest oil markets

BEIJING: Beijing on Tuesday again lashed out at a US decision to impose sanctions on countries that buy Iranian oil, calling it a violation of China’s interests that will intensify turmoil in the Middle East and international energy markets.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the US is operating outside its jurisdiction in unilaterally imposing the sanctions. He said normal interactions between Iran and other countries are “reasonable and lawful” and deserving of respect and protection.

“The relevant actions of the US will also intensify the turmoil in the Middle East and international energy market,” Geng said.

“We urge the US to play a constructive role in a responsible manner, instead of the other way around. In addition, we have already made complaints with the US on this matter,” he said.

Geng said China will work to safeguard its companies’ interests, reflecting its desire to secure foreign markets as it pursues its massive “Belt-and-Road” infrastructure initiative.

China is one of Iran’s biggest oil markets and was a strong backer of the agreement to lift sanctions in return for Iran curbing its nuclear weapons program that was scrapped by President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration said Monday that it will no longer exempt any countries from US sanctions if they continue to buy Iranian oil, stepping up pressure on Iran in a move that primarily affects the five remaining major importers.

Along with India and US treaty allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, China was one of the countries primarily affected by the announcement.

Oil prices soared to their highest level since October on Tuesday.

The sanctions could potentially remove up to 1.2 million barrels of oil per day from international markets, according to industry experts. However, that number will likely be lower, depending on how countries respond and just how much oil Iran continues to export.