Fifteen Egyptian troops killed or wounded in North Sinai

The Egyptian army has been battling militants in North Sinai for years. (File/ AFP)
Updated 17 February 2019
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Fifteen Egyptian troops killed or wounded in North Sinai

CAIRO: Fifteen Egyptian military personnel were killed or wounded in a clash on Saturday in North Sinai in which seven militants were also killed, the Egyptian military said.
The breakdown of military casualties was not immediately clear. However, two security sources told Reuters that some of the injuries were serious.
Daesh later claimed responsibility for the attack on its news agency AMAQ. It said it killed at least 15 Egyptian troops, revising an earlier figure of 20 killed south of the provincial capital of Arish after clashes with "various kinds of weapons."
The group did not provide evidence for its claim.
Security forces launched a campaign a year ago against militants focused on Egypt's Sinai peninsula, and say they have killed several hundred militants since then.
"Combing operations and the pursuit and elimination of the terrorist elements in the area where the incident took place is ongoing," the military spokesman said in a statement.
The security sources said operations were taking place under aerial cover.
Since 2013, militants have repeatedly targeted security checkpoints and Egypt's Christian minority.


Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

Updated 21 May 2019
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Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

DUBAI: Bahrain said Tuesday a peace conference it is co-hosting next month with the US is aimed at helping the Palestinians, who have criticized the kingdom for failing to consult them about the event.
The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” said Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa.
The kingdom “remains supportive of the brotherly Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate rights on their land as well as establishing an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Bahrain’s top diplomat said in a statement.
The White House announced Sunday it would co-host the June 25-26 conference with Bahrain focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed US peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.
“We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Manama, Bahrain,” Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement.
“We have not mandated any party to negotiate on our behalf.”
The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have shown little interest in the US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favor of Israel.
Dubbed “Peace for Prosperity,” the conference is expected to bring together leaders from several governments, civil society and the business sector.
Trump’s office said the conference was a “pivotal opportunity... to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”
The Palestinians see this as offering financial rewards in exchange for accepting ongoing Israeli occupation.
“Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected,” Erekat said.