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Egypt: 'At least 7 militants killed' in Sinai gun battle

last update: January 30, 13:01

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Cairo, 30 January (AKI) - At least seven militants have been killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in the volatile northern Sinai Peninsula, according to military officials cited by local media.

A senior member of the Al-Qaeda-inspired militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, was among those killed in the military operation in the border town of Sheikh Zuweid late on Wednesday, Al-Ahram Online reported.

It quoted the Egyptian army as saying two homes belonging to “dangerous” militants were destroyed in an airstrike as part of an ongoing offensive to root out growing militancy in the region. Helicopters and armoured vehicles were deployed in the operation.

One of the homes destroyed in the raid was used as a militant hideout and weapons depot, while the other was owned by a suspected militant linked to a recent missile attack that downed a military helicopter in the peninsula, killing all five crew members, the online daily quoted the army as saying.

The Sinai-based Beit Al-Maqdis said its fighters shot down the helicopter. The group has claimed responsibility for most of the deadly militant attacks across the country since the army ousted Egypt's elected Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July last year.

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