CAIRO – An Egyptian military spokesman stated on Sunday that four military personnel and 10 alleged militants had been killed in recent days during military operations in the northern Sinai Peninsula in northeast Egypt, without providing details on the date or location.
Col. Tamer al-Refaei stated in a video on his official Facebook page that two soldiers and two officers had been killed in combat and in search operations, while another officer and three soldiers were wounded.
The military spokesman claimed that the 10 armed men, whom he described as “extremely dangerous,” were killed in an operation launched in collaboration with forces from the Interior Ministry in the city of al-Arish, the capital of North Sinai province.
Egyptian security forces began “Operation Sinai 2018” on Feb. 9 to clear the restive peninsula of militants, and which is taking place in the run-up to Egypt’s presidential election to be held in late March.
Since the start of the operation, at least 16 soldiers and 105 suspected militants were killed, according to data published by the army, while 245 people were arrested, including what Egyptian authorities described as suspects and wanted persons, with an unspecified number being released after investigations.
The Egyptian military and police have been fighting in Sinai against terror organizations, including a subsidiary of the Islamic State, since 2014.
Authorities have imposed a near-total media blackout on the counterinsurgency campaign, meaning the information provided by the military and the Interior Ministry cannot be verified.