Egypt's army forces carrying out combing operations during Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 in search of improvised explosive devices (Photo Screenshot from Army spokesman video on communqiue 12)
Eleven "takfiris" were killed by the Egyptian army during ongoing Operation Sinai 2018 operations over the past four days, the armed forces said on Tuesday.
Army spokesman Tamer El-Refaie said in communiqué number 12 that "four extremely dangerous takfiris" were eliminated as the forces foiled a suicide attack by the terrorist elements, who were wearing explosive belts and military uniforms.
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.
Seven others were killed by the armed forces following a shootout during a raid on a terrorist hideout in Al-Arish, with three AK-47 assault rifles and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) seized.
According to the statement, a non-commissioned officer and two soldiers were killed in the combat operations. Seven army personnel, including an officer, were also injured.
Twenty targets and locations used by the terrorists for launching attacks were hit by the air force, which also struck 185 other targets, including hideouts and weapon stores, said the statement.
An underground cache of weapons was found by the armed forces, who also destroyed 375 other hideouts and trenches filled with explosives, narcotics and fuel. Eighteen cars and 71 unlicensed motorcycles were also destroyed.
Two 4x4 vehicles laden with explosives and ammunition were discovered as they attempted to cross into Egypt and were destroyed by the air force.
The army's border guards thwarted an attempt to smuggle 30 firearms and foil four illegal immigration attempts, arresting 419 infiltrators of different nationalities.
More than 1,750 kilograms of ready-to-sell narcotics were also seized after the armed forces discovered and destroyed 36 farms growing marijuana and opium poppies.
The army added that its military engineers detected and destroyed two tunnel openings measuring 1.5 by 2 metres wide and 15 meters deep, also detonating and neutralizing 27 explosive devices that were planted to target troops in the area.
The army said that 641 people suspected being of criminals were arrested, bringing the number of those arrested since the launch of the operation in the first week of February to 2,235 people.
The authorities have released 1,447 people following identity checks and confirmation that they were not involved in illegal activities.
The counter-terrorist operation, 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.