On Saturday, September 15, Egyptian authorities started lifting the significant restrictions on movement imposed on residents in North Sinai. The region had been on lockdown for several months as part of the military's "Sinai 2018" counterterrorism operation. Despite eased restrictions, residents remain subject to fuel shortages, blackouts, and strict security measures.
Security forces are currently conducting a significant counterterrorism operation in Egypt. The "Sinai 2018" mission aims to neutralize 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 (i.e. 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 North Sinai, where authorities maintain a media blackout and special security zones amid the ongoing anti-terrorist campaign.
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