May 21, 2019 / 3:37 PM / 2 months ago

Egyptian security forces kill 16 suspected militants in Sinai

CAIRO, May 21 (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces have killed 16 suspected militants in North Sinai and found a stash of weapons and explosives in their hideouts, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

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

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

Egypt has long been fighting Islamist militants, who have waged an insurgency that has 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 of 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.

Reporting by Haitham Ahmed; Writing by Amina Ismail; Editing by Alison Williams

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