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Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:47 - Updated Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:47

Egyptian police thwart terrorist attack, kill 3 terrorists: ministry

CAIRO - Egyptian police foiled on Friday a terrorist attack, killing three terrorists and arresting 14 others, as part of a nationwide anti-terror operation, the Interior Ministry announced.

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"Explosive devices and automatic guns were seized with the arrested, for carrying out other attacks before the beginning of the presidential elections," the ministry said in a statement.

The terrorists were members of the outlawed Hasm group, and affiliated to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, the ministry added.

Earlier Friday, Egypt launched a major anti-terror operation to uproot terrorists in areas in Sinai, the Delta and the Western Desert, and the border cities.

The operation is launched as part of the efforts to reach the three-month deadline set by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to eliminate terrorism after the mosque attack that killed more than 300 people in the northern Sinai city of Arish in November, 2017, the Egyptian army said in an earlier statement.

Eyewitnesses saw armored vehicles and tanks being deployed in North Sinai cities of Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid.

Smoke of blast was seen in the sky of western Rafah city, while sound of air raids were heard in northern and central Sinai, they said.

Meanwhile, strict security measures have been enforced in the vicinity of vital institutions, national projects, religious houses, electricity and water plants, and major tourist sites, an official security source was quoted by the official news agency MENA as saying.

Egypt's army has been struggling to uproot the strongholds of the militants, now belong to the Islamic State branch in Sinai, since the ouster of the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Xinhua

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