The Egyptian army continued its operations Monday against militants in the area of Al-Arish in North Sinai, with reports of casualties among the militants.
Tribal sources told Daily News Egypt that a reported five “extremists” were killed as the army raided a den allegedly used by members of the militant group Sinai Province. The sources said the army used helicopters to execute the attack.
The office of the army spokesperson could not confirm the exact number of casualties in the raid and that “such operations occur on a daily bases in all strategic directions”.
Neither state media nor the army published reports or statements about the raid yet.
Sinai has become the scene of frequent clashes between the extra-state militants and the Egyptian armed forces, which launched an intensive counter-insurgency campaign to curb militancy in the governorate.
According to military’s records, hundreds of terrorists have been killed in the first and second phase of “Retribution for the Martyr”, an operation the army launched end of last year to “restore security in Sinai”.
Despite ongoing explosions and killings, the state asserted the peninsula is under the control of the Egyptian military.
The “State of Sinai”, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, has claimed responsibility for the majority of the attacks against security forces in North Sinai, including the Russian plane crash over Sinai on 31 October 2015 that killed all 224 passengers and crew members.
Meanwhile South Sinai, a relatively more secure and stable area in the peninsula, is preparing to host the COMESA conference in Sharm Al-Sheikh this month amid heavy security preparations. While North Sinai suffers a lethal insurgency, South Sinai has been home for main economic and political conferences, in addition to being one of Egypt’s major touristic destinations.