Egypt's Military Touts Anti-Terror Operation With Top-Line Weapons, Boats

Egypt Launches New Sinai Security Effort Amid Reports of Israeli Help

Earlier on Sunday, the Egyptian army announced that it killed at least 16 militants and arrested four suspects in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula since the major operation started.

A total of 16 militants were killed, it added.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ordered the military to defeat Islamists in the region by the end of this month.

Most of the terror attacks were carried out by the so-called Wilayat Sinai (Sinai state or province), a Sinai-based group affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) regional terrorist group.

The campaign by the army, navy, air force, border patrol and police is taking place ahead of a March election in which Sisi is seeking a second term.

The statement says they discovered a communication center and six drug farms.

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Egypt denied this, and Israel declined to comment.

Militant attacks increased dramatically in Egypt since the military's 2013 ouster of elected but divisive Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

And last September Sissi met Netanyahu for the first time in public, the encounter coming ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in NY.

El-Sisi wrote on his official Facebook page that he was following the military operation to eradicate terrorism from Egypt with pride.

"The armed forces call upon Egyptian people in all parts of the country to closely cooperate with law enforcement forces to confront terrorism, uproot it and immediately report any elements threatening the security and stability of the country", military spokesman Colonel Tamer al Rifai said in a televised address.

In addition to its attacks on Christians, IS has adopted a threatening tone against Sufi Muslims, whom it considers to be heretics. They are blamed for a series of bomb, gun and suicide attacks that have killed hundreds in Egypt. Last year, militants attacked a Sufi mosque in the region, killing 311 worshipers.

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