Egypt's military spokesman Ahmed Ali issued a statement on Saturday saying that army has “found and dealt with terrorist groups” in North Sinai, including culprits behind the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers in 2012 near the border with Israel.
On 5 August 2012, unidentified militants attacked a security checkpoint during iftar (the meal that breaks the fast during Ramadan) leaving 16 Egyptian soldiers dead.
Ali added that among the groups spotted were those responsible for the kidnapping of seven soldiers who were held in captivity for almost a week last May.
“These terrorist groups were planning to commit crimes against members of the armed forces, the police and the honorable people of Sinai,” added Ali.
Earlier on Saturday, eyewitnesses told Aswat Masryia that the army targeted armed Jihadists in the town of Al-Toma south of Sheikh Zweid in North Sinai.
Locals added that a number of homes in the area caught fire after a rocket was fired from the military.
Sinai has suffered a security vacuum since the January 2011 uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime. The situation escalated with the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July. Militants have attacked police and security forces on a daily basis following Morsi's overthrow.