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.


Iran, US tension is a ‘clash of wills’: Guards commander

Updated 13 min 43 sec ago
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Iran, US tension is a ‘clash of wills’: Guards commander

  • The commander said they will have a “hard, crushing and obliterating response” for their enemies
  • Tensions between Iran and US escalated after Trump restored sanctions

GENEVA: The standoff between Iran and the United States is a “clash of wills,” a senior commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday, suggesting any enemy “adventurism” would meet a crushing response, Fars news agency reported.
Tensions have spiked between the two countries after Washington sent more military forces to the Middle East in a show of force against what US officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests in the region.
“The confrontation and face-off of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the malicious government of America is the arena for a clash of wills,” Iran’s armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri said.
He pointed to a battle during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war where Iran was victorious and said the outcome could be a message that Iran will have a “hard, crushing and obliterating response” for any enemy “adventurism.”
On Sunday, US President Donald Trump tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!“
Trump restored US sanctions on Iran last year and tightened them this month, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
Trump wants Iran to come to the negotiating table to reach a new deal with more curbs on its nuclear and missile programs.
Reiterating Iran’s stance, the spokesman for its Supreme National Security Council said on Thursday that “There will not be any negotiations between Iran and America.”
Keyvan Khosravi was also quoted as saying by the state broadcaster that some officials from several countries have visited Iran recently, “mostly representing the United States.”
He did not elaborate, but the foreign minister of Oman, which in the past helped pave the way for negotiations between Iran and the United States, visited Tehran on Monday.
“Without exception, the message of the power and resistance of the Iranian nation was conveyed to them,” he said.
In Berlin, a German diplomatic source told Reuters that Jens Ploetner, a political director in Germany’s Foreign Ministry, was in Tehran on Thursday for meetings with Iranian officials to try to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and cool tensions in the region.