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Egypt army kills 70 militants in Sinai in week-long raids
Last Updated: 2015-03-08 19:06 | Xinhua
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The Egyptian military said on Sunday that 70 militants were killed in airstrikes and security raids in North Sinai last week.

Restive North Sinai is the epicenter of an Islamist insurgency that has killed hundreds of police and army forces since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July 2013 after mass protests against his one-year rule.

The week-long raids hit strongholds of the militants in the cities of Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, military spokesman Mohamed Samir said in a statement.

Eleven militants belonging to al-Qaida-inspired Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group in Sinai, an Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State (IS), were killed in the raids, Samir added.

As many as 64 others were arrested including two Palestinians, and huge amounts of weapons were seized.

In Rafah city, which borders the Gaza Strip, 10 warehouses were destroyed, 10 militants were killed and dozens of bombs were defused.

Egypt has been beefing up security measures in Sinai Peninsula ahead of an economic conference which will be held in Sharm el Sheikh city on March 13-15.

More than 4,000 security personnel have been deployed and the number of checkpoints has been increased, a security official told Xinhua.

Egypt hopes to secure much needed funds to revive its battered economy.

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