Egypt’s military spokesperson announced the death of seven alleged militants in North Sinai on Monday during an ongoing operation in parts of central and north Sinai that has caused disruption to local residents.
Two of the deceased were reportedly leaders in militant organizations in Sinai, according to the Armed Forces’ statement.
Another statement released by the military spokesperson around the same time reported the arrest of three additional armed men in central Sinai.
Airstrikes as part of the military’s campaign also reportedly killed Awda Hamdein, a leading figure in the Islamic State-affiliated Province of Sinai and 13 of his associates, according to Sinai News, a Twitter account reporting on the ongoing conflict in Sinai, citing tribal leaders in the area.
The campaign reportedly resulted in several residents fleeing their homes and a week-long electricity blackout in Rafah, Sinai News added.
The Palestinian Hamas announced an intention to increase its military presence on the border with Sinai during a delegation’s visit to Cairo in early June to discuss prisoner exchange and security cooperation. Hamas’ border patrol shot and arrested an alleged suicide bomber with an explosive belt, who was reportedly attempting to cross into Sinai on Monday, according to Sinai News.
Arish city in North Sinai had already been on lockdown in July for 14 days as a result of a previous military operation.
Egypt’s military has been waging an ongoing battle against armed groups in Sinai since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, combined with efforts to tackle the movement of arms and people into the area. This has had an effect on local residents in parts of north and central Sinai, many of whom have had to flee their homes.
Details of those who have died in the ongoing violence are hard to confirm outside statements by Egypt’s Armed Forces due to a lack of reporting in Sinai.