Army troops in North Sinai
Seventeen "terrorists" were killed in crossfire with security personnel between 13 and 15 December in North Sinai, which has been witnessing continuous operations by the armed forces, said the Egyptian army spokesman.
In a statement posted to his official Facebook page, Brigadier General Mohamed Samir, spokesman of the armed forces, also confirmed that security forces had apprehended 11 persons who allegedly participated in militant attacks against the army and police, during the two-day span.
As part of its campaign, the armed forces also said it has destroyed nine vehicles and six motorcycles, all without registration plates, allegedly owned and used by terrorists. In addition, 64 jihadist headquarters and 22 farms, including one that comprised a field hospital, were also destroyed.
The Egyptian armed forces launched a campaign to "purge" the North Sinai governorate that has served as ground for several militant attacks against army and police personnel in the last years.
The border city, however, witnessed increased activity by extremists during the past year and a half, since the ouster of the former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
The army campaign followed a massive militant attack in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid in October, where more than 30 army personnel were killed and a few dozens injured. The attack was later claimed by Ansar Beit El-Maqdis group, which later pledged loyalty to the Islamic State in early November.
A 1,500 meter buffer zone was created, as part of the army campaign, along the border line with Gaza Strip. It has been undertaken in two phases, the first of which (along 1,000 metres) was announced finished early this month.