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12 February 2018, 01:30 | Kara Nash
Major assault launched against IS in Egypt
The Egyptian military has reported killing 16 militants and detaining over 30 suspects in its latest operation in the Sinai Peninsula.
"The air forces targeted 66 hideouts and centres used by terrorists", Xinhua quoted a statement as saying, adding that 11 vehicles and 31 motorbike as well as three explosive warehouses were destroyed during the continuous raids.
Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) called on foreign reporters and representatives of foreign media outlets to abide by professional rules and only publish what is being released by the army in their coverage of the "Comprehensive Sinai 2018" military operation, launched on Friday. It involves land, naval and air forces from the army and police, and covers north and central Sinai, the Nile Delta and the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is seeking re-election in March, ordered the armed forces in November to defeat militants within three months after an attack on a mosque killed more than 300 people.
The authenticity and date of the 23-minute video could not immediately be verified, but a reference to an Egyptian military statement on Friday suggested that at least part of it was completed after the security operation began.
The IS Sinai affiliate, Sinai Province, has said it carried out many deadly attacks, mostly targeting the army.
The statement says they discovered a communication center and six drug farms.
In a Facebook posting on his account, Sisi wrote: "I follow with pride the heroic actions of my sons in the armed forces and police to clear Egypt's territory of terrorist elements".
The footage highlights the Egyptian military's top-of-the-line weaponry, including French Rafale fighters, US F-16 fighter-bombers, US Apache attack helicopters, a modern EADS transport aircraft, the Casa C-295, and US twin-rotored Chinook helicopters.
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