Suspected militants killed in North Sinai

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Egyptian security forces killed 16 suspected militants in North Sinai and found a stash of weapons and explosives in hideouts, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The statement said they were plotting “terrorist attacks against important facilities and figures in different places in Arish”, capital of the governorate.

The ministry said the suspects were killed in “armed confrontations”, but did not elaborate on identity or casualties among the security forces. It did not say when the clashes happened.

Egypt has long been fighting Islamist militants waging an insurgency that killed hundreds of soldiers, police and residents, in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

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

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says strong security measures are needed to stabilise Egypt after the turmoil that followed the country’s 2011 uprising.