The Egyptian army resumed air operations in the Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday, reportedly killing five members of the militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis and injuring four others, police sources told Reuters' Aswat Masriya news website.
The operation was conducted by Apache aircrafts in the south of Sheikh Zuweid, North Sinai, targeting two houses where jihadist extremists from the areas of Goura and Moqata'a were based, sources said.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an extremist group active in North Sinai especially after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, have claimed many recent militant attacks against army and police personnel.
Earlier this month, the group pledged loyalty to the Islamic State, the militant group which has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria and established a self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate.
Police and army forces have launched an extensive security campaign in North Sinai, following a major militant attack on an army checkpoint in October that killed over 30 soldiers and injured around the same number.
Also on Tuesday, sources said five prominent Sinai traders were arrested on charges of transferring funds from Jordanian, Arab and foreign banks to Ansar Beit al-Maqdis and Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Aswat Masriya reported.
Through interrogations, the traders confessed to receiving foreign funds to be delivered to Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, according to the source.
Egypt's army announced last week that it was expanding a buffer zone along the Gaza border to reach 1,000 meters, after having discovered new underground tunnels that it says are used to smuggle weapons to Sinai militants.
A state of emergency was declared in parts of North Sinai following last month's deadly attack, coinciding with an escalation in the military's campaign against "terrorist elements" in Egyptian border cities.