Egypt armed forces foil 'terrorist' plot in central Sinai

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The security forces have arrested suspects and demolished houses that belong to terrorists, including those facilitating tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip.

Attacks are rarely carried out in Central Sinai.

"A group of 14 militant terrorists, four of them wearing explosive belts, attempted to break into one of the armed forces camps in Central Sinai before the sunrise", said Tamer al-Refaay, the military spokesman, in a statement.

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Egypt extended its nationwide state of emergency for three months as of April 14, according to the official gazette.

Egypt faces an Islamic State insurgency in the remote North Sinai region that has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen in recent years and has expanded to include attacks on civilians.

Since the ousting of ex-Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has seen growing waves of extremism washing over the society and spawning numerous deadly attacks.

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Egypt first imposed the current state of emergency in April 2017 after two church bombings killed at least 45 people.

"The armed forces and the police will take the necessary measures to confront the dangers of terrorism and its financing and to preserve security across the country", the official gazette said in announcing the extension of the state of emergency for three months.

A new decree further lengthening it was issued in October and then extended in January.

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The military said earlier that 27 militants were killed over the last few days in a sweeping operation launched on February 9 in the Sinai to quash extremists based in the peninsula.

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