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Egypt Kills 16 Terrorists Near Gaza

Egyptian army reports airstrike took out 16 in Sinai near Gaza, latest in string of clashes between Islamists and Egyptian army in region.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 2/8/2014, 9:35 PM

Egyptian F-16 (file)
Egyptian F-16 (file)
Reuters

Egypt's army reported on Saturday that it killed 16 Islamist terrorists in Sinai near the border with Gaza the day before. The liquidation of the 16 terrorists was conducted by an Egyptian airstrike in an area south of Sheikh Zuweid on Friday evening, according to the army's statement.

The region has seen heightened violence; Hamas has been accused of a December attack on Egyptian police headquarters, and planning church bombings in Sinai last Christmas.

Egyptian reports have indicated Hamas will become an increasing danger in 2014, and analysts comment that the Nile state will have to take out Hamas if it hopes to secure itself.

The country has been in an incredibly violent and unstable period since the 'Arab spring' led to the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The anniversary of Mubarak's ousting on January 25 this year sparked clashes that left over 29 dead.

Former President Mohammed Morsi replaced Mubarak, and was similarly ousted by the military last July. His Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed and has repeatedly clashed with the army since then.

Egypt's military leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has indicated that he will run for president, an election bid which is widely expected to be a sure success.

Last November, Egypt signed a $4 billion arms deal with Russia that is designed to specifically enable Egypt to at least achieve parity with the IDF.