Egypt army: 172 Sinai militants killed in February

CAIRO // Egypt’s army said Sunday at least 172 militants were killed in February in joint police and military operations in the restive Sinai Peninsula where security forces are battling a militant insurgency.

The militants were killed in a series of security operations in the peninsula after a deadly January 29 attack by extremists left 30 people dead, mostly soldiers.

The army said the militants were killed in the north Sinai cities of El Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and in the town of Rafah that borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Another 229 suspected extremists were arrested in these operations, while 85 militant hideouts were destroyed last month, the army said in a statement accompanied by a picture of a suspected militant shot dead.

Egypt’s army has poured troops and armour into the region to fight an insurgency since ex-president Mohammed Morsi was ousted in July 2013.

Most attacks are spearheaded by Ansar Beit Al Maqdis, the Egyptian affiliate of ISIL.

It says the attacks are in retaliation for a brutal government crackdown against Morsi supporters that has killed hundreds and put thousands behind bars.

The group also claimed the January 29 attack in which two car bombs and a barrage of rockets hit a military base and an officers’ residential complex in El Arish.

That attack was carried out despite a state of emergency and curfew in parts of north Sinai and a buffer zone being established in Rafah to prevent infiltration of militants from Gaza.

* Agence France-Presse

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Find the right policy for you

Don’t wait until the week you fly to sign up for insurance – get it when you book your trip. Insurance covers you for cancellation and anything else that can go wrong before you leave.

Some insurers, such as World Nomads, allow you to book once you are travelling – but, as Mr Mohammed found out, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered.

Check your credit card before booking insurance to see if you have any travel insurance as a benefit – most UAE banks, such as Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, have cards that throw in insurance as part of their package. But read the fine print – they may only cover emergencies while you’re travelling, not cancellation before a trip.

Pre-existing medical conditions such as a heart condition, diabetes, epilepsy and even asthma may not be included as standard. Again, check the terms, exclusions and limitations of any insurance carefully.

If you want trip cancellation or curtailment, baggage loss or delay covered, you may need a higher-grade plan, says Ambareen Musa of Decide how much coverage you need for emergency medical expenses or personal liability. Premium insurance packages give up to $1 million (Dh3.7m) in each category, Ms Musa adds.

Don’t wait for days to call your insurer if you need to make a claim. You may be required to notify them within 72 hours. Gather together all receipts, emails and reports to prove that you paid for something, that you didn’t use it and that you did not get reimbursed.

Finally, consider optional extras you may need, says Sarah Pickford of Travel Counsellors, such as a winter sports holiday. Also ensure all individuals can travel independently on that cover, she adds. And remember: “Cheap isn’t necessarily best.”