CAIRO – The Egyptian army said on Monday its troops killed 12 alleged terrorists in the governorate of Sinai in an ongoing anti-terrorism operation that began three days ago.
Army spokesman Col Tamer al-Refaei added in a statement posted to his official Facebook account the troops arrested 92 others and destroyed hideouts, arms depots, vehicles and motorcycles used by the militants.
On Friday, al-Refaei announced the start of a major security operation against terror cells and criminal elements and organizations in the restive governorate as well as areas in the northern Nile Delta region and the western desert.
Since then, a total of 28 extremists have been killed and 126 others arrested, according to the army statement.
Operation Sinai 2018 came almost two months ahead of the presidential elections scheduled on March 26, with incumbent President Abdelfattah al-Sisi seeking a second term in office.
On Nov. 29 last year, al-Sisi ordered his military command to use all necessary force to end militant attacks in Sinai Peninsula within three months, five days after a militant attack on a mosque in northern Sinai that killed at least 300 people.
Attacks targeting security forces and Christians in Egypt have been on the rise since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was toppled in 2013.
The Egyptian military and police have been fighting in Sinai against terror organizations, including a subsidiary of the Islamic State, since 2014.