Screenshot from a published video by the Egyptian armed forces showing efforts in fighting terrorism (Photo Courtesy of Egypt army spokesman page on Facebook)
The Egyptian Armed Forces said it killed 15 "takfiri extremists" in an exchange of fire in North and Central Sinai during a combing and raid operation as comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 continues into its sixth day.
In the seventh official statement since the counter-terrorism campaign was launched on Friday, the armed forces said its air units destroyed 11 targets after receiving vetted intelligence that the locations were used to accommodate takfiri elements.
153 suspects and criminals, including non-Egyptians, were arrested by the security forces. Legal procedures against them have been undertaken.
The armed forces added that two underground weapons cashes were discovered bearing 1,500 kg of highly explosive C4 and TNT as well as 56 detonators and 13 circuits used to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
181 dens and mountain storehouses containing a number of highly explosive materials and chemical elements used to manufacture IEDs were also destroyed, as well as a large number of vehicles and fuel used by the terrorists.
Military engineers were able to uncover and disarm 64 IEDs planted along routes strategic to targeting terrorist elements during operations.
A transmission centre, used by the terrorists for telecommunication, was also found and destroyed.
Also destroyed by the Egyptian Armed forces were a tunnel in the border area of North Sinai, as well as 38 openings and trenches used as defenses.
The statement added that 13 farms used to grow illegal narcotics were uncovered with the forces seizing 800 kg of drugs.
According to the statement, six "takfiris", including one highly dangerous element, were arrested while monitoring security forces' movements as joint army and police units set up 563 checkpoints and security patrols on main roads and desert areas nationwide as part of the operation.
“The fighters of the armed forces and police continue to carry out purging operations of precious Sinai lands with determination and high fighting spirit to protect the nation and its people,” the statement concluded.
Operation Sinai 2018 was launched on Friday morning, involving land, naval and air forces, as well as the police and border guards, targeting "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" in northern and central Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert.