25 militants killed in Egyptian air strike

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (second from left) greets a member of the Egyptian armed forces at the Sinai peninsula on July 4, 2015.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (second from left) greets a member of the Egyptian armed forces at the Sinai peninsula on July 4, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

ISMAILIA (Egypt) • Egyptian warplanes killed 25 Islamist militants in North Sinai on Saturday, security sources said, as the Egyptian President visited the province after a major escalation of the conflict there.

The sources said the air strikes hit militant targets near the town of Sheikh Zuweid, destroying weapons and explosives caches. Security forces had found about half a tonne of explosives in a tunnel on the border between the Sinai and Gaza.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inspected soldiers and police in El-Arish, the provincial capital, on Saturday, the presidency said.

Dressed in military garb for the first time since becoming president just over a year ago, Mr Sisi told troops that at least 200 militants had been killed in the fighting in recent days, but added: "For me to say that things are under control is not enough, things are totally stable."

"I tell Egyptians ... the size of forces here (in Sinai) is 1 per cent of Egypt's army."

Hours after his speech, militant group Sinai Province said in a statement posted on Twitter that it had attacked two army vehicles with two bombs in the area of Sheikh Zuweid.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2015, with the headline '25 militants killed in Egyptian air strike'. Print Edition | Subscribe