Egyptian security forces said they killed 17 terrorists suspected of carrying out the Cairo explosion that killed 20 people on Sunday.
According to the Interior Ministry, several of the suspected terrorists were members of Hasm, which is believed to be behind the attack in Cairo when a car packed with explosives detonated outside Egypt’s main cancer hospital. Hasm is reported to have links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
The Interior Ministry said seven other militants were killed in the Cairo suburb of Shortouk and another two, including a brother of the suspected militant who was driving the car, were killed in the capital. The ministry released a series of images and video purportedly depicting some of the militants and assault rifles found in their hideouts. The statement did not say when the raids took place, or whether police forces were wounded in the operation.
Sunday’s explosion in Cairo was the deadliest attack in more than two years in the Egyptian capital. Egypt has been fighting Islamist militants, led by an ISIS affiliate, in the Sinai Peninsula for several years. The insurgency has at times spilled over into other parts of the country.
Al-Monitor reports that residents of el-Arish, the capital of northern Sinai governorate, have been expelled from their homes by the Egyptian authorities. The area has seen clashes and armed conflict between the Egyptian army and ISIS. A number of residents told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that: “Security and army forces evacuate buildings and residential areas, as residents are told that they can return home in due course. However, the buildings and homes are destroyed.”
The residents also said that the state is giving the armed forces extensive powers in terms of land ownership in the northern Sinai Peninsula. Last month President al-Sisi issued a decree claiming: “The Port of el-Arish, all its buildings, facilities and surrounding land plots shall be deemed to be of public utility, transferring ownership to the armed forces.”