The Egyptian Armed Forces announced on Saturday that the ongoing military operation Martyr’s Right has reached a “decisive stage” in the fight to end terrorism in North and Central Sinai. Forces killed eight militants, eliminating one of the most dangerous militant stationing points, according to an official statement issued by the army spokesperson.
The destroyed stationing point was based in Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai, where forces found a bomb inside a house that was prepared to target army forces that arrived there.
The statement read: “Forces destroyed a factory used to construct improvised explosive devices (IED) and other explosive materials.”
Forces also killed three militants in Al-Arish who were based in a house that was also used to manufacture IEDs. Forces eliminated 29 IEDs, planted in different areas to target police and army patrols, in controlled detonations.
Militant group “Sinai Province” released on Saturday photos of recently assassinated major colonel Hesham Mahmoud’s personal belongings, including his personal and military identity cards and a pistol. He was targeted by militants in front of his residence in Al-Arish city on Friday.
In captions beneath the photos, the Islamic State (IS)-affiliated group described the deceased as an “apostate” but did not supply more details as to why he was assassinated.
The targeting of senior army officers has been on the rise in the past two weeks alone. Three senior army officers were assassinated; two were shot in front of their residences, and the third was killed when an IED detonated near his armoured vehicle.
Head of the army’s ninth armoured division, major colonel Adel Ragaai, was shot in front of his residence in a Cairo suburb on 22 October. Lieutenant colonel Ramy Hassanein, the leader of the commandos battalion in North Sinai, was killed in an explosion, along with two conscripts. Four other conscripts were injured in the attack, army sources told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity. Hassanein’s armoured vehicle was targeted by an IED while passing through El-Gowra road.
No group officially claimed responsibility for the IED attack; however, several social media users claimed that “Sinai Province” had carried out the attack.