Middle East Updates / Egypt: Security Forces Kill Five Islamist Militants

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A funeral convoy carrying the bodies of four Egyptian militants of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis drives through the Sinai village of Sheikh Zuweid, August 10, 2013.Credit: AFP

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Latest updates:

8:30 P.M. Al-Jazeera Egypt channel shuts down

The Doha-based Al-Jazeera satellite station has shut down its Egypt channel, which has been at the center of tensions between Egypt and Qatar.

The closure of Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr comes amid a Saudi-led effort to reconcile between Egypt and Qatar over the latter's support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt accuses Al-Jazeera of supporting the Brotherhood and Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the military in 2013.

Three journalists from Al-Jazeera's English channel were sentenced this summer to at least seven years in prison on charges of aiding the Brotherhood, which the government declared a terrorist organization.

The station denies any bias. The defendants in the case said they were pawns in the Egypt-Qatar fight.

Al-Jazeera said Monday it will incorporate Mubasher Misr into a new region-wide station. (AP)

5:40 P.M. 22 killed after Afghan troops launch operation against Taliban

Afghan security forces have launched a "large operation" against Taliban militants in the eastern part of the country, killing 22, security officials said Monday.

"The national security forces launched the operation from different directions on the insurgents in the Dangam district today," said the Kunar province's police chief.

Kunar province borders Pakistan's tribal regions, from where Taliban militants are believed to enter the country to attack Afghan security forces. (DPA)

4:15 P.M. U.S.-lead coalition strikes 22 ISIS targets in Syria, Iraq (Reuters)

4:10 P.M. Pakistan plans 500 hangings, arrests suspects after Peshawar school massacre (DPA)

10:45 A.M. Egypt: Security forces kill five Islamic militants

Egypt's Interior Ministry says security forces killed five militants from a Sinai-based group allied with Islamic State extremists during a raid in the country's north.

The ministry says Sunday's raid targeted a farm in al-Sharqiya province where some members of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or Champions of Jerusalem, were hiding.
It describes those killed in the shootout as "most dangerous" jihadis.

The statement says two were wanted by the Supreme Security Court for participating in terrorist attacks. It says one security officer was wounded in the shootout and that a weapons cache was seized, including explosives' belts for suicide attacks, a car laden with explosives and bomb-making material.

The Sinai-based group has carried out scores of attacks in Egypt since the July 2013 overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. (AP)

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