Egypt says 20 suspected militants killed in Sinai

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Soldiers in military vehicles proceed towards the al-Jura district in El-Arish city from Sheikh Zuwaid, around 350 km (217 miles) northeast of Cairo May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt has killed 20 suspected militants in an air strike in its western desert and shootouts in the Sinai peninsula, the military said on Wednesday, part of ongoing operations.

The government launched military operations in February against Islamic State militants who have waged years of attacks on security forces and civilians, killing hundreds.

The airstrike in the western desert in an area being used as a “sanctuary and launching point for carrying out hostile actions” killed seven “highly dangerous” militants, the statement said.

Another 13 militants were killed amid shootouts with security forces in North Sinai and an area of central Sinai while 18 others were arrested, it added.

The statement did not say when the militants were killed. It also did not name those killed or link them to any specific group and it did not mention any casualties or wounded among the security forces.

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