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Egypt choppers target militant hideouts

09 September 2013, 08:34

Egypt - An Egyptian military official says helicopter gunships have launched new strikes targeting militant hideouts in the northern Sinai peninsula, on a second day of a major offensive aiming at quelling an insurgency in the lawless region.

The official says the Sunday strikes targeted the villages of el-Mahdiya and el-Moqataa near the towns of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweyid on the border with the Gaza Strip.

Three US-made Apache helicopters fired rockets, hitting shacks, houses and cars used by militants, the official said.

He added that the airstrikes are to pave the way for a ground offensive, in which troops backed by armoured vehicles would search homes of suspected militants.

The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorised to brief the press.

At least nine suspects were killed by strikes on Saturday.

- AP


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