Intensive airstrikes were launched on Tuesday evening in several cities of North Sinai, targeting a number of places where the army received reports of terrorist groupings in Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid, a North Sinai based journalist told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity.
“No one can obtain accurate information regarding the number of deaths from these airstrikes; however, high ranked security officials said the strikes are aiming at Islamic State (IS) affiliated militant group ‘Sinai Province’,” he clarified.
The airstrikes targeted a number of sites that are close to civilians’ stationing points inside the villages of El Toma and El Fatyat of Sheikh Zuweid by intensive shelling, a resident from a nearby region to the aforementioned villages stated on a condition of anonymity.
“A number of inhabitants were preparing for iftar when army aircrafts suddenly appeared and launched airstrikes targeting two houses that have been previously evacuated by security forces, ” he said.
Subsequently, the electricity was cut off when the aircraft dropped the first missile on a farm that was two kilometres away. No injuries or causalities were reported among civilians, he added.
Several local media reports indicated that the strikes resulted in killing more than 60 members of the ‘Sinai Province’ group.
Daily News Egypt made several trials to contact the army media office, but no answer was received.
Earlier in April, thirty ‘Sinai Province’ militants were killed in airstrikes conducted by the Egyptian Air Force south of Sheikh Zuweid, according to a statement published on the Air Force spokesperson’s official Facebook page.
Sinai has become the scene of frequent clashes between militants and state security forces.
As a result, an extensive counter-insurgency operation was launched to curb militancy. The Egyptian government has imposed a state of emergency in the peninsula’s northern regions.