47 suspected militants, 5 troops killed in Egypt's Sinai

Egypt's army on Thursday said 47 militants and five of its troops were killed as part of its military offensive in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where it is fighting Daesh. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 May 2019
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47 suspected militants, 5 troops killed in Egypt's Sinai

  • As part of the wide-ranging operation to secure Egypt's borders, 158 "criminal elements" were arrested
  • The armed forces also neutralised 385 explosive devices that insurgents planted targeting security forces

CAIRO: Egypt's army on Thursday said 47 militants and five of its troops were killed as part of its military offensive in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where it is fighting Daesh.
The suspected militants had "guns of different makes, ammunition, explosive devices in northern and central Sinai" in their possession, according to a slickly produced video statement posted on the armed forces' social media accounts.
As part of the wide-ranging operation to secure Egypt's borders, 158 "criminal elements" were arrested.
The armed forces also neutralised 385 explosive devices that insurgents planted targeting security forces.
The army did not specify when the deaths and arrests took place, saying only that they happened as part of "recent efforts" against extremists.
The Sinai Peninsula, in the north-east of the country, is the epicentre of a hardened extremist insurgency spearheaded by Daesh.
In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide operation against militants, focusing mainly on the North Sinai region.
Some 650 militants and around 45 soldiers have been killed since the start of the offensive, according to the armed forces.
No independent statistic are available to verify the deaths and the region is largely cut off to journalists.
Terror attacks have surged following the 2013 military ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, who was replaced by former army general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The Egyptian president has presented himself as a bulwark against terrorism and a rock of political stability amid a region in turmoil.


Iran on ‘dangerous path’: UK warns British ships to avoid Strait of Hormuz

Updated 1 min 19 sec ago
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Iran on ‘dangerous path’: UK warns British ships to avoid Strait of Hormuz

  • Iran had taken a ‘dangerous path’: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
  • France has expressed full solidarity with Britain

LONDON: London Saturday advised British ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz for “an interim period” following Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker.
“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s unacceptable actions which represent a clear challenge to international freedom of navigation,” a government spokeswoman said following an overnight meeting of the government’s COBRA emergencies committee to discuss the crisis.
“We have advised UK shipping to stay out of the area for an interim period.”
She noted comments by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier that “there will be serious consequences if the situation is not resolved.”
She added that there will be further meetings over the weekend and “we remain in close contact with our international partners.”
Hunt said on Saturday that he was worried that Iran had taken a “dangerous path” after it seized a British-flagged tanker on Friday.
“Yesterday’s action in Gulf shows worrying signs Iran may be choosing a dangerous path of illegal and destabilizing behavior after Gibraltar’s LEGAL detention of oil bound for Syria,” Hunt said on Twitter.


“As I said yesterday our reaction will be considered but robust. We have been trying to find a way to resolve Grace1 issue but WILL ensure the safety of our shipping.”
Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker was allegedly due to a collision with an Iranian fishing boat, the country’s state-run IRNA news agency said Saturday.

France and Germnay have expressed solidarity with Britain and has called on Iran to release tanker.
The British navy seized Iran’s Grace 1 tanker in Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Friday it had seized the British-flagged Swedish-owned Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking “international maritime rules.”
Iranian authorities alleged Saturday the ship had collided with a fishing boat. It said the tanker was now at anchor off the port of Bandar Abbas with all its crew aboard. The Indian and Philippine governments said they were working to get Iran to release nationals from the two countries who were on board a British-flagged oil tanker seized by Iran in the Arabian Gulf.
India’s foreign ministry spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, said Saturday its diplomats were “in touch with the Government of Iran to secure the early release and repatriation” of the 18 Indian crew members on the Stena Impero.
Manila’s Department of Foreign Affairs also said its ambassador to Tehran was in contact with Iranian authorities to ensure the lone Filipino crew member’s safety and immediate release.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said there have been no reports of injuries among the crew.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency has said the other crew members consisted of three Russians and a Latvian.