Egyptian Security forces have killed at least 17 terrorists in a shootout in the North African country’s restive region of Sinai Peninsula.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the shootout flared as police raided a hideout in North Sinai’s provincial capital of el-Arish.
They found “terrorist elements” who were planning “hostile operations” and had weapons and explosives, it added.
The ministry did not mention when the raid took place. The announcement came after the army said Sunday that seven soldiers had been killed or wounded and 10 militants killed in an attack on a North Sinai army post.
Security forces are battling long-running militancy in the peninsula, spearheaded by a group affiliated with the Takfiri Daesh terrorists.
The Sinai Peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, after a deadly terrorist attack left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead.
Over the past few years, militants have been carrying out anti-government activities and fatal attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil in Egypt that erupted after the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military coup in July 2013.
In February 2018, the Egyptian army launched a full-scale counter-terrorism campaign after a terror attack in North Sinai claimed the lives of more than 300 people at a mosque.
Since then, over 840 suspected militants have been killed in the region, according to army figures, along with more than 60 security personnel.