Army forces affiliated to the second field army continued a sweeping operation against militants stationing points in the tumultuous city of North Sinai, according to a statement issued by official army spokesperson Tamer El-Refaay on Facebook.
The spokesperson cited the results of five consecutive days of sweeping operations carried out against militants who are believed to be members of Islamic State (IS)-affiliated group “Sinai Province”.
“As a continuation of efforts exerted by the armed forces to hunt down terrorists, forces from the second field army continued a five-day sweeping operation that resulted in the destruction of 28 residences owned by militants that have been used to monitor and hide,” the statement read.
Moreover, the statement indicated that the assigned forces inspected 47 residences searching for tunnels used by militants and destroyed two bomb-laden trucks, six four-wheel drive vehicles, three motorbikes, and confiscated five other vehicles affiliated to militants.
The statement noted that assigned forces from the second field army managed to kill one militant and arrest 24 others and discovered seven tunnels.
It asserted that assigned forces from the third field army managed to kill 19 militants and injured seven others in central Sinai during the last five days. They were able to arrest 12 people suspected of being involved in terrorist operations.
“The third field army forces destroyed two explosives stores, two workshops for manufacturing explosives, five improvised explosive devices (IED), and discovered two underground stores that contained six tonnes of explosives,” the statement read.
The five-day operations conducted by both the third and second field armies resulted in the death of two army officers and two conscripts due the explosion of an IED on a road used by the forces, the statement noted.
Since 2013, state security forces represented in both the army and police have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province”, known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to IS and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the course of the last two years, the Egyptian armed forces launched counterattacks against militant stationing points across the Sinai Peninsula where the group is based, particularly in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish.