Egypt’s armed forces said on Sunday that military and police units have eliminated “ten extremely dangerous takfiris” in North Sinai’s Al-Arish as part of the onging Operation Sinai 2018 anti-terrorist effort.
In an official statement dubbed communiqué 14, the armed forces said a confrontation took place with the “takfiris” based on intelligence that they were operating in a deserted area in North Sinai’s Al-Arish.
The Arabic word "takfiri" refers to extremist Sunni Muslims who accuse other Muslims of being infidels, often as a justification for using violence against them.
Six automatic firearms and a quantity of ammunition were confiscated after the raids, the military said in its statement.
Two officers and two soldiers were killed during the operations announced by the army on Sunday, while one officer and three soldiers were injured during the “clashes and the purge of terrorist hotspots”.
The army said that 245 people were arrested on suspicion of involvement in terrorist or criminal groups, with some later released after security checks.
Police and military units destroyed 145 hideouts, dens and stores located in mountainous areas, along with trenches used by terrorists.
The army added that a workshop used to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs) was also discovered, along with an underground storehouse containing more than 10,000 liters of petrol. Thirty-nine IEDs planted to target the security forces were also destroyed.
During operations to track down and raid terrorist groups, 12 cars and 28 unlicensed motorcycles used to carry out militant attacks were also found.
Security forces also raided 21 farms used to grow marijuana and opium poppies, with more than five tonnes of ready-to-sell narcotics seized.
The air force discovered and destroyed 11 vehicles laden with explosives and ammunition as they attempted to infiltrate into Egypt across the nation's western borders.
The army statement said that the navy and border-guard forces continue to secure western and southern border areas, along with the Egyptian coastline.
The army and police have conducted 609 patrols and security checkpoints on main roads and routes nationwide, according to the statement.
The Operation Sinai 2018 counter-terrorist effort, which was launched on 9 February, involves land, naval and air forces, as well as the police and border guards.
It targets "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" in northern and central Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert, as announced by the military at the start of the operation.