Islamist militants killed in Sinai shootout

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Egyptian security forces killed 46 “dangerous” Islamist militants in shootouts in northern Sinai according to the military.

The armed forces say several hundred militants have been killed since it launched a major campaign in February last year aimed at vanquishing Islamic State and related jihadist groups in Sinai.

“Over the last period” the campaign resulted in “elimination of 46 dangerous members of terrorist elements during exchanges of fire in the north and central Sinai,” the armed forces said in a video recording, without specifying dates or locations of operations.

About 100 suspects were arrested, more than 200 explosive devices found and over 30 cars and scooters confiscated or destroyed, it said. The statement did not give the identity of suspects or their affiliation.

Human rights organisations accuse Egypt of extrajudicial executions and trying civilians in military courts as part of the crackdown.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said human rights should be treated in the context of regional turbulence and the struggle against terrorism. Strong security measures are needed to stabilise Egypt after the turmoil that followed the country’s 2011 uprising according to him.