21 Fighters Killed by Egyptian Soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula

The Fighters Were Plotting Attacks During Eid al-Fitr Holiday

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At least 21 fighters were killed after clashing with Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, the defense ministry said.

According to a statement released by the ministry, police raided two hideouts of “terrorist elements” in North Sinai governorate, triggering a fierce gun battle. Two soldiers were wounded in the gunfight.

The fighters were reportedly plotting to carry out attacks in the cities during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Security forces recovered automatic weapons and suicide belts in the hideouts.

Egyptian security forces have been fighting a rebellion in the Sinai Peninsula that is spearheaded by a local affiliate of the armed group ISIL (ISIS).

The attacks escalated in 2013 following the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi by the military.  The military launched a major operation against the fighters in February 2018.