Security sources have reported the killing of at least two Egyptian military officers and four conscripts in confrontations with militants in restive North Sinai province bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.
“An officer and four conscripts died as an armed attack targeted their armored vehicle in Abu Tawila town of Sheikh Zuweid city while another officer was gunned down by a sniper in Al-Muqata’a town also in Sheikh Zuweid,” a source said on condition of anonymity.
He said eight other conscripts were wounded in separate blasts in the same city and the victims’ ages varied between 21 and 28.
A conscript earlier died following the explosion of an improvised explosive device that targeted a security armored vehicle while it was combing terrorist dens at Al-Gora town southern Sheikh Zuweid city.
The attacks came one day after the Egyptian security forces launched a massive security campaign in the chaotic province that left at least 100 militants killed and 40 others injured.
Meanwhile, the military spokesman said in a statement that the armed forces have started an intensive security operation to comb and raid a number of hiding places of militants in North and Central Sinai.
At least 12 soldiers were also killed earlier after gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint in North Sinai, while 15 of the assailants were killed in confrontation with the security forces.
Egypt has been facing a growing wave of anti-government terrorist attacks since the military removed former Islamic president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Hundreds of police and military men have been killed in anti-government attacks over the past three years with a Sinai-based militant group loyal to the Islamic State (IS) regional group claiming responsibility for most of them.
Overall, the security forces killed about 1,000 militants and arrested a similar number of suspects in North Sinai as part of the country’s “war against terrorism” declared by then military-chief and now President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi following Morsi’s ouster.