Egyptian air strikes on jihadi strongholds in Sinai

Cairo: Egypt’s military on Saturday launched air strikes against jihadi targets in North Sinai in retaliation for the killing of 12 army personnel at a checkpoint on Friday, army officials said.

“The Armed Forces pursued the criminal and terrorist elements who implemented the terrorist attack,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Egyptian Army as saying in a statement.

Friday’s attack took place in the central Sinai area, 40 km from Bir al-Abd town, as a group of terrorists used rifles and automatic weapons to attack the checkpoint, security officials said.

The army in retaliation killed 15 terrorists on Friday.

“The airstrikes targeted the hideouts of the armed extremists involved in Friday’s attacks,” added the statement.

“All the areas harbouring the terrorist elements along with the weapons and ammunition depots were destroyed in the airstrike that lasted for three hours and is still ongoing,” it said.

A Sinai-based militant group loyal to the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, including Friday’s attack.