Report: Egyptian attack helicopters kill 15 jihadists in Sinai

Attack helicopter operating in Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid near Gaza border strikes armed Islamists.

The Nitzana border crossing between Israel and Egypt 370 (photo credit: Reuters)
The Nitzana border crossing between Israel and Egypt 370
(photo credit: Reuters)
Fifteen suspected gunmen were killed in the Sinai Peninsula by rocket fire, Egyptian state TV reported on Tuesday, after witnesses said army helicopters had attacked terrorist strongholds in the area.
The state-run Nile TV gave no further details in a brief report. The army helicopters had targeted two villages south of Sheikh Zuweid, a town near the border with Israel and the Gaza Strip.
An army source said a ground operation was under way with air cover, but declined to give further details because it was still continuing.
Security sources said government helicopter strikes had killed at least eight armed men and wounded 15, and had been aimed at stores of arms and explosives in the Sinai.
Four Apache helicopters fired at several locations in the northern Sinai and targeted arms depots, Ahram Online reported.
The Egyptian newspaper Al-Shorouk reported that at the end of the air operations, ground forces will be sent in to assess the situation.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian daily Youm Al- Sabaa said that there is a heavy security presence in all parts of northern Sinai, and that all the routes have been closed to traffic since the curfew went into effect on the main roads from four in the afternoon.
Terrorist attacks on security forces in the lawless north Sinai region have increased since the army, prompted by mass protests, ousted Egypt’s first elected Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, on July 3.