Cairo Fights Islamist Militants in Sinai

(Reuters) An Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis commander admitted to a Reuters reporter in mid-January that his group was facing greater difficulties. "Our numbers are smaller than before. Lots of people were killed. Lots of people were detained. Security forces are everywhere." Egyptian President Sisi has doubled troops in Sinai since last year and won support from some Bedouins, who have helped the army locate weapon-smuggling routes used by jihadi groups, security officials said. "A year ago we could not get to places where they hide," said a police captain, referring to Ansar. "Now we are spread across north Sinai." According to one militant, "About 1,000 of us have been killed and about 500 or 600 arrested." "There are far fewer weapons because tunnels [from Gaza] have been destroyed." An Egyptian diplomat said that Israel was providing Egypt with intelligence help to track Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. "I can't say whether it is useful, but I can say that it is appreciated."

2015-02-05 00:00:00

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