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Egypt army announces major nationwide anti-terror operation

Egypt army announces major nationwide anti-terror operation

"The anti-terrorism measures should not be restricted to military and security operations, but they also include addressing economic, cultural and social aspects of the phenomena, hence Egypt established a higher council to combat terrorism and extremism which focuses mainly on precaution measures", Abdel Aal added. A year later, Sinai's indigenous militants pledged their allegiance to Daesh (Islamic State) terrorist group.

On Friday morning, the Egyptian armed forces launched a new major operation to confront terrorism in north and central Sinai and other parts of the country.

Earlier Friday, Egypt launched a major anti-terror operation to uproot terrorists in areas in Sinai, the Delta and the Western Desert, and the border cities.

In a subsequent statement, el-Rifaai said the air force carried out airstrikes on militant hideouts in north and central Sinai.

Later, militants fired a projectile at el-Arish airport and struck an Apache helicopter that was part of the entourage of Egypt's defense and interior ministers who were in the city on an unannounced visit on December 19.

Officials are also strengthening maritime and land borders to help cut off supply lines for terrorist activity.

While Israeli intervention has helped the Egyptian military regain its footing in its battle against militants in the North Sinai, the strikes have bolstered the security of Israel's borders, reported the paper.

Egyptian army spokesman Colonel Tamer al Rifai announces the launch of a major operation against jihadists
Egyptian army spokesman Colonel Tamer al Rifai announces the launch of a major operation against jihadists

"Explosive devices and automatic guns were seized from the arrested persons, for carrying out other attacks before the beginning of the presidential elections", the ministry said in a statement.

Egypt's security forces have been increasingly targeted by jihadists since the army in 2013 overthrew Islamist president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.

Lately, the attacks have been creeping closer to Cairo and targeting more civilians.

The Israeli army has declined to comment on the report, which has been denied by the Egyptian military.

In November, el-Sissi gave security forces a three-month deadline to restore stability to northern Sinai.

Egypt has previously announced several major offensives aimed at tackling the jihadist threat.