As the first month of Operation Sinai 2018 draws to a close, the Armed Forces spokesperson has announced that the offensive is ongoing, and will continue until the peninsula is clear of “takfiri elements.”
On Wednesday, in his third press conference since the counterterrorism operation was launched on February 9, spokesperson Tamer al-Rifai claimed that 105 alleged militants have been killed and 2,829 people have been arrested in north and central Sinai. Of those detained, he said, many have been cleared of accusations of involvement in criminal or terrorist acts and released.
Sixteen Armed Forces personnel have been killed in the past weeks, according to Rifai, and 19 others injured.
Additionally, 1,907 hideouts said to be used by militants to for weapons and explosives storage, five tunnels and 41 four-wheel drive vehicles reportedly full of weapons were destroyed. Large amounts of TNT and C4 were confiscated by military personnel, the spokesperson said, and the Armed Forces Engineering Corps dismantled 471 IEDs.
According to Rifai, LE900 million has been allocated as compensation for civilians affected in the Rafah-Gaza buffer zone, where the military operation is ongoing.
In the press conference announcing the start of the operation, Rifai stated that it aims to “end terrorism” in the north and central parts of the peninsula and “combat other crimes that affect Egypt’s internal security and stability.”
Dozens have been killed in the operation, which involves Egypt’s naval, air and ground forces, and hundreds of buildings said to be hideouts have been destroyed.