The Egyptian military announced on Wednesday, July 11, that security forces killed 11 suspected militants in a raid in Al-Arish (North Sinai province) during an unspecified timeframe. Officials reported that military personnel defused two explosive devices in the terrorists' hideout and that several firearms were seized onsite. Including this most recent raid, at least 261 suspected militants have been killed since operations began in the region in November 2017.
Additionally, the Egyptian government said on Monday, July 2, that it will implement a daily curfew in parts of North Sinai province beginning on Saturday, July 14; the curfew will reportedly be in effect for 11 hours overnight daily, from 19:00 to 06:00 (local time) the next day in Tal Rafah, Awja, and the Jebel Al-Halal area, among other areas. The curfew will be in effect from 01:00 to 05:00 every day on the international road and Al-Arish. Despite these new measures, continuing insecurity in the Sinai Peninsula is expected to prompt further raids on suspected militants and their positions in the coming weeks.
Security forces are currently conducting a significant counterterrorism operation in Egypt. The "Sinai 2018" operation aims to eradicate suspected militant and criminal cells in the Sinai Peninsula, the Nile Delta, and the Western Desert, as well as reinforce state control along the country's borders. The Egyptian police and the army have been placed on maximum alert in these regions for the duration of the operation. The Sinai Peninsula has been the epicenter of frequent attacks by Islamic State (IS)-affiliated militants since 2013 - usually targeting security forces or minority Coptic Christians.
Due to the prevailing threat of terrorism, individuals throughout Egypt should report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities and always be on guard when visiting sites deemed particularly vulnerable to an attack (public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.). Many governments advise against travel to northern Sinai, where authorities maintain a media blackout and special security zones amid the ongoing anti-terrorist campaign.
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