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10 suspected armed militants killed, 9 police personnel wounded in Ard al-Lewa raids

Ten suspected militants were killed in armed clashes in the Ard al-Lewa neighborhood of Giza when police forces raided two residential units on Sunday, according to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry. Four commissioned officers, three conscripts and two criminal investigators were also injured in the altercation.

The statement alleges that the residences were being used as a hideout by suspected armed militants fleeing the ongoing security campaigns in North Sinai. According to the ministry, during the first raid gunmen opened fire on police personnel and threw an explosive device which detonated early, killing eight of the suspects. Two more were killed during the second raid after they opened fire on police, initiating clashes which lasted four hours.

The ministry’s statement identifies six of those killed as 38-year-old Akram al-Amir Salem, 23-year-old  Omar Ibrahim Ramadan, Muath Yehia Ahmed and Hamza Hesham Hussein Ibrahim, both 22, 43-year-old Sherif Lutfi Khalil Abdel Aziz and 27-year-old Khalil Said Ahmed.

At the end of August the military launched a security campaign in North Sinai, carrying out airstrikes which killed Odeh Hammadeen, thought to be a leader of the Islamic State-affiliated Province of Sinai, and 13 others. The Armed Forces issued an official statement on August 28 announcing the arrest of three armed men in central Sinai, and the killing of seven more suspected militants in North Sinai, two of whom were also reported to be leaders in militant organizations in the area.

The August security campaign has compelled citizens of Rafah to flee their homes, after communications in several major North Sinai cities were cut off for more than a week. The most recent  military action follows a campaign in the governorate’s capital city, Arish, in July which lasted for 14 days.

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