Watchdog warns of humanitarian crisis in Egypt's Sinai

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A leading international rights group is warning of a humanitarian crisis in the northern part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula amid severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods due to a massive security operation against Islamic militants.

Human Rights Watch says the campaign has left up to 420 000 residents in northern Sinai in urgent need of humanitarian aid since the operation started in early February.

Monday's statement by the New York-based group also urged authorities to provide sufficient food and allow relief organisations to provide resources to address local residents' critical needs.

Egypt has struggled to contain a long-running insurgency in Sinai.

The military's operation has targeted militants in Sinai as well as parts of the Nile Delta region and the Western Desert, along the porous border with Libya.

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