The Egyptian armed forces have destroyed ten hideouts of suspected militants in the Sinai Peninsula and arrested four suspects as part of an ongoing campaign against Islamist insurgents in the region.
Ten shacks and buildings used as bases for terrorist attacks were torched and destroyed in Tuesday's offensive in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweyid, a security source told state news agency MENA.
Four suspects, including two Palestinians, were arrested in the raid, the official added.
Islamist militants, who had already expanded their activities in the peninsula since the January 2011 uprising against autocrat Hosni Mubarak, have stepped up their attacks since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Last month, militants shot down an army helicopter, killing all five crewmembers, in an attack that showed they possess sophisticated weaponry.
Scores of policemen and soldiers have been killed in drive-by shootings and bombings in recent months.
A series of deadly bombings targeting police in Cairo last month — which was claimed by the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis — has heightened fears that militant violence is taking hold outside the border region.
Scores of militants have been killed in air and ground attacks by the Egyptian armed forces, particularly since a counter-insurgency offensive was stepped up in September.
The army has also destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels leading into Gaza, which is controlled by the Palestinian group Hamas, an ally of Egypt’s deposed president Morsi.