Egyptian authorities have arrested a cell of snipers targeting security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, where an Islamist insurgency is growing.
A security source told state news agency MENA late on Sunday that three Islamist militants who formed a cell targeting security forces in the area with sniper arms were arrested in the North Sinai town of Al-Arish.
Since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last summer and an ensuing crackdown on his supporters, violence has spiralled in the underdeveloped peninsula bordering Israel. Government figures place the number of police and troops killed in militant attacks since then at approximately 500.
Egypt's military have launched large-scale operations in the region to quell the burgeoning insurgency, killing dozens of militant fighters and arresting hundreds of suspects.
The country's most active militant group, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, has rebuffed the authorities' reports of the deaths and arrests, claiming last week that the army announces "fictitious victories".