File photo: Army vehicle in North Sinai (AP)
Egypt’s armed forces launched early Saturday successful airstrikes on a number of terrorist hideouts and arms depots in North Sinai, after a Friday terrorist attack on a security checkpoint, an army spokesman Facebook statement read.
Assailants attacked Friday a North Sinai security checkpoint killing 12 armed personnel. Fifteen attackers were killed in the shootout that ensued.
The Saturday airstrikes were based on intelligence information, and conducted in coordination with the people of Sinai, the statement added. They lasted for three hours.
A number of terrorist elements, said to have executed the checkpoint attack, were killed and seven 4x4 vehicles were destroyed.
The army said in the statement that its offensive on terrorists in North Sinai is still ongoing.
“The armed forces stresses that, with the support of its great people, it is determined to eliminate the [terrorist] elements that target the safety and security of this country,” the statement read.
Following the attack, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a statement mourning the victims and vowing that such a tragic incident would only "increase our determination and persistence to continue our battle for development and survival."
Hundreds of security forces in North Sinai have been killed in similar attacks by Islamist militants since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Egyptian security forces have killed hundreds of suspected militants in North Sinai during the same period.