Seven Islamist militants were killed late on Tuesday in fights with troops in the border Sinai Peninsula, Egypt's army said early on Wednesday, as it presses on with an extensive operation to root out a burgeoning insurgency in the region.
The deaths took place during raids on militant hideouts in the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid, military spokesman Brigadier-General Mohamed Samir said in a statement.
Egypt has been hit by an Islamist insurgency led by Sinai-based fighters which has mainly targeted security forces since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last summer and an ensuing crackdown on his supporters.
Upwards of 500 policemen and troops have been killed in militant attacks that have extended to the capital Cairo and the Nile Delta
Also on Tuesday, a conscript was killed and nine security force members wounded when an armoured vehicle overturned on a highway in Sheikh Zuweid, state news agency MENA reported.
On Sunday, militants in Sinai fired mortar rounds at a military post in the provincial capital of Al-Arish, killing a soldier as well as seven civilians, including a child in a nearby residential complex,
Egypt's military launched large-scale operations in the underdeveloped region to quell the growing insurgency, killing dozens of militant fighters and arresting hundreds of suspects.
The country's most active militant group, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which has claimed some of the deadliest attacks over the past year, has rebuffed authorities' reports of the killing and arrest of its members, claiming that the army announces "fictitious victories" in its war against militants.