At least two Egyptian soldiers and five militants were killed on Wednesday when security forces foiled a terror operation in the restive North Sinai Province bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, the Egyptian military said.
“One of the extremists wearing an explosives belt attempted to break into a military checkpoint, but the forces were alert and they killed him and directly dealt with his fellows,” Military Spokesman Tamer al-Refaay said in a statement.
The clashes came two days after a massive terror operation in North Sinai’s city of Arish left 18 policemen dead, Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier on Sunday, police said they killed 10 in Giza Province near the capital Cairo, adding that they were extremists escaping from North Sinai and preparing for carrying out a number of terror operations.
Egypt has been suffering a wave of terror activities that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
Terror attacks in Egypt used to focus on police and military personnel in North Sinai, before spreading nationwide and targeting the Coptic minority, with most of them claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian military and police have killed hundreds of militants and arrested a similar number of suspects as part of the country’s anti-terror war declared by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief then, following Morsi’s removal.