Egypt says three soldiers, 30 extremists killed in restive Sinai

Egyptian soldiers guard the entrance to the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport in south Sinai, Egypt.

:: Three soldiers and 30 extremists have been killed in the past week in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula where the military is battling ISIS, the army said Wednesday.

Around 200 extremists and at least 33 government troops have now been killed since the launch of a major offensive against the extremists on February 9 dubbed “Sinai 2018,” according to official figures.

They include Nasser Abu Zaqul, “the central Sinai commander of the terrorist group,” according to the army which announced his death last week.

More than 170 suspected jihadists have been arrested.

Egypt has been hit by significant militant attacks in recent years, especially after the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 following mass protests against his government.

Extremists have killed hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians, mainly in the North Sinai but also elsewhere in Egypt.

In November, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave three months for his security forces to re-establish control in Sinai, a deadline since extended.

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