Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Egypt launches new assault against Sinai militants

Egyptian soldiers patrol in a tank backed by a helicopter gunship during a sweep through villages in Sheikh Zuweyid, northern Sinai, Egypt. Military officials said Saturday that Egyptian helicopters and tanks are attacking Islamic militants in villages in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

Associated Press

Egyptian soldiers patrol in a tank backed by a helicopter gunship during a sweep through villages in Sheikh Zuweyid, northern Sinai, Egypt. Military officials said Saturday that Egyptian helicopters and tanks are attacking Islamic militants in villages in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

CAIRO — Egyptian helicopter gunships and tanks pounded suspected Islamic militant hideouts and weapon caches Saturday in the northern Sinai Peninsula in what locals say is the largest operation in the lawless region in years.

Nine militants and two soldiers were killed during the raids, security officials said.

Officials say that the military is hunting hundreds of militants believed to be responsible for a series of attacks in the region, which they overran after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011. The militants, officials say, belong to a number of well-known al-Qaida-inspired groups that want an Islamic Caliphate established in northern Sinai, a region bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Prompting the military offensive, attacks in the region have increased since the July 3 military coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist.

Early Saturday, residents say they saw winding columns of trucks and armored vehicles pour into the area. Some said they hadn't seen soldiers on foot in their villages in decades. Communications were jammed for hours, as authorities seized control of two telephone exchanges.

Military helicopters hovered overhead in a dozen villages concentrated near two border towns of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweyid, security officials said. Airstrikes targeted shacks believed to be gathering points of militants, they said. Soldiers later stormed homes searching for suspected fighters.

In a statement, army spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said nine suspected militants were killed on Saturday and nine others detained.

Other officials said two soldiers were killed in a nighttime attack by militants in Sheikh Zuweyid in northern Sinai. The soldiers were there as part of the offensive.

Though troops arrested some suspected militants, others escaped to mountainous areas in central Sinai, an official said.

The officials spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to publicly brief journalists.

New charges: In Cairo, the prosecutor general announced new charges against Morsi, saying the deposed leader had insulted the judiciary in one of his last speeches by accusing 22 judges of forging election results in 2005, according to the state news agency MENA. The prosecutor ordered Morsi held in four-day detention pending further investigation. He has been held in an undisclosed location since the military overthrew him.

Egypt launches new assault against Sinai militants 09/07/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 9:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. During the most expensive mayoral election ever, St. Petersburg City Council wants to limit PAC money

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — In front of a large group of red-shirted campaign finance reform supporters, the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday started the ball rolling on an ordinance that would limit individual campaign contributions to $5,000 from political action committees.

    A large crowd gathered Thursday to support passage of a controversial measure to limit campaign spending in city elections
  2. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses

    Business

    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  3. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning

    Blogs

    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.
  4. A test the Rays haven't passed

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — I have no idea what to think about the Rays. Not a clue.

    Tampa Bay Rays players celebrate their 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule: Stanley Cup champion Penguins, expansion Golden Knights among the coming attractions

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's season schedule was released Thursday afternoon, and there are plenty of must-see matchups coming to Amalie Arena. Here are the home games with the most intriguing storylines:

    The champs

    (Oct. 12, Oct. 21)

    The two-time defending champion Penguins make two early trips to Tampa. [AP photo]