Egypt army says 52 suspected militants killed in Sinai

The military launched a sweeping operation in February focused on the Sinai in eastern Egypt aimed at wiping out militants. (AFP)
Updated 08 October 2018
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Egypt army says 52 suspected militants killed in Sinai

  • 53 “takfiris” or Sunni Muslim extremists were killed in two separate operations by Egyptian security forces

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces pressing a campaign against Islamist militants have killed 52 suspected militants in the Sinai Peninsula in operations in which three soldiers also died, the army said Monday.
The military launched a sweeping operation in February focused on the Sinai in eastern Egypt aimed at wiping out militants, including from the Daesh, who have been waging a bloody insurgency.
On Monday, the military said that 53 “takfiris” or Sunni Muslim extremists were killed in two separate operations by security forces in the restive peninsula.
Three members of the armed forces were also killed in these operations, it said in a statement, without stating when they took place.
The military has regularly reported operations in the Sinai since it launched the campaign.
According to official figures, a total of more than 350 suspected militants and at least 30 soldiers have been killed in the “Sinai 2018” campaign.
Security sources said last week that local Daesh leader Abu Hamza Al-Maqdisi had been killed in an air raid on the Sinai. The militant group confirmed his death.
Militants have killed hundreds of police officers and soldiers in the Sinai since the army ousted Egypt’s Islamist president Muhammad Mursi in 2013.


Boat with migrants rescued off Libya looks for port to dock

Updated 20 January 2019
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Boat with migrants rescued off Libya looks for port to dock

  • Sea-Watch 3 asked where it can bring the 47 migrants it had taken aboard

ROME: A private rescue boat with dozens of migrants aboard sought permission for a second day to enter a safe port Sunday, but said so far its queries to several nations haven’t succeeded. Another vessel crowded with migrants and taking on water, meanwhile, put out an urgent, separate appeal for help in the southern Mediterranean.
Sea-Watch 3, run by a German NGO, said Sunday it has contacted Italy, Malta, Libya as well as the Netherlands, since the boat is Dutch-flagged, asking where it can bring the 47 migrants it had taken aboard. Sea-Watch tweeted that Libyan officials had hung up when it asked for a port assignment.
An Italian state TV reporter aboard Sea-Watch 3 said the rescue took place Saturday about 50 kilometers (30 miles) off the coast west of Tripoli in Libya’s search-and-rescue area. Libya-based human traffickers launch flimsy or rickety boats, crowded with migrants hoping to reach Europe and its opportunities for better lives.
Separately, Sea-Watch tweeted Sunday afternoon that it had been urgently contacted by a boat with 100 migrants aboard that said it was taking on water, 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) from the current location at sea of Sea-Watch 3.
The distressed vessel reported navigational problems and had among the migrants a child “unconscious or deceased,” Sea-Watch said. Subsequent communication said the boat was “taking in water” and asked Sea-Watch to call for help, “regardless of what this would mean concerning a possible return to Libya,” Sea-Watch said.
The aid group later said Malta on the phone confirmed “that they will come back to us” regarding the distress call, but it wasn’t immediately clear what kind of assistance the Maltese might give.
Migrants dread the prospect of being returned to Libya, where they have reported torture including beatings and rapes in overcrowded detention centers.
The governments of Malta and Italy have been refusing to allow private rescue boats rescuing migrants to dock. Both contend that in recent years they have taken in many migrants rescued at sea and that fellow European Union nations must agree to take their share of these asylum-seekers.
Earlier this month, Malta transferred to land 49 migrants who had been aboard Sea-Watch 3 as long as 19 days but refused the boat port entry. They were allowed to set foot on the southern Mediterranean island only after an EU-brokered deal found several countries willing to take them as well as other migrants, who had been rescued at sea earlier in separate operations by Malta.