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Egypt: Eight killed in military operation in North Sinai

News - Middle East

Clashes kill four fighters and four Egyptian troops in restive Sinai province.

Four armed men have been killed in an operation by the Egyptian police in the city of Arish in the northern Sinai.

Egyptian security source told Arabic-language media that four Egyptian policemen were also killed in the clashes on Saturday, while several others were wounded.

According to the source, the attackers were wearing explosives and others carried light weapons.

The remaining members of the group managed to flee the site of the operation, said the unnamed source.

Authorities have not blamed any specific group and none has claimed responsibility, although fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) are active in the area.

Earlier this month, Egypt's military said it has killed 52 fighters in the Sinai Peninsula over the past few days as part of its ongoing efforts to eliminate armed groups in the sparsely populated desert region.

More than 300 fighters have been killed in Sinai since the Egyptian army launched an operation to defeat armed groups in the province in February.

Defeating armed groups and restoring security has been a promise of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was re-elected in March in a landslide victory against no real opposition.

Sisi's critics say his presidency has brought about a harsh crackdown on dissent, but supporters say such measures, which include mass imprisonment of political opposition, are needed to stabilise Egypt.

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