The Egyptian military on Saturday announced that it has killed 32 gumen, arrested 58 suspects and destroyed 31 smuggling tunnels as part of its campaign to rid Sinai of terrorism.
The campaign – dubbed Operation Sinai – was launched last month in response to a terror attack that killed 16 Egyptian border troops near Rafah.
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Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali said that the first phase of the operation has been successful, adding that its second phase has been launched. He said that 20 of the suspects have been released.
"The operation will continue until its goals have been achieved... These are not just military goals but also developmental goals for the Sinai," he said.
Ali noted that the military presence in Sinai does not violate the peace treaty with Israel, stressing that the army is abided by all its international commitments without undermining the peninsula's security.
"The deployment of the armed forces, on all the territory of Sinai, is not a violation of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel," he said.
"Our presence (in Sinai) is in the frame of coordination" with Israel, he added.
The spokesman did not reveal the identities of the terrorists involved in the August 5 attack. On Friday, an army official told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm the security forces have linked four Palestinians to the deadly incident.
Hamas has denied the involvement of Palestinians in the attack.
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