Egypt’s military and police forces have killed 30 Islamist "takfiris" and arrested 173 suspects in a week-long offensive to crush militants in central and northern Sinai, a military spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Three army officers were killed and an officer and a solider were injured in clashes with terrorists during raids over the past week, Colonel Tamer El-Refai said in the 20th communique on Operation Sinai 2018, which was published on the official Facebook page of the Egyptian armed forces.
The raids come under the framework of Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018, a counter-terrorism campaign which involves the army, navy, air force and police.
The operation was launched in February to target “terrorist and criminal elements and organizations” in north and central Sinai, parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert.
Over the past week, the Egyptian army killed Naser Abu Zakul, emir of the Islamic State group's Egyptian affiliate Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, as well as four "extremely dangerous" elements, and eight "takfiris" in northern and central Sinai.
Another 173 suspects have been arrested, El-Refai said.
Meanwhile, in the North Sinai capital city of Arish, police killed another 17 "takfiris," he added.
The air force, which has been conducting airstrikes in northern and central Sinai since the operation started, destroyed three hideouts used by terrorists near Egypt's northeastern border and destroyed 10 vehicles loaded with weapons near the western border.
Security forces also destroyed 437 hideouts and caches in several parts of the country while military engineers discovered and destroyed 74 bombs planted to target forces at various sites, El-Refai said.
They also uncovered and destroyed 38 farms used to grow illegal narcotics in central and northern Sinai and near the western border, the statement said.