Egyptian Army soldiers during "operation sinai 2018' (Photo: Egypt's army spokesperson Facebook page)
The Egyptian military and police killed 13 “takfiris” and arrested 86 high-risk “terrorists and criminal elements” as part of the ongoing counter-terrorism operation in Sinai, an army communiqué said on Thursday.
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.
Military spokesman Tamer El-Refai said in the statement on Thursday that two army officers were killed, and one officer and an NCO were injured during operations.
"Air forces targeted and destroyed nine targets used to shelter terrorist elements, as well as two booby-trapped vehicles that were prepared to attack forces in the field of operations," the statement added.
“Army engineers uncovered and diffused 10 IEDs which were planted to target security forces during operations,” it added.
The military also destroyed 100 hideouts, tunnels, trenches where large amounts of weapons and logistical material were discovered.
Operation Sinai 2018 involves land, naval and air forces, as well as the police and border guards.
El-Refai said last Thusday that seven army personnel have been killed and six have been injured during raids on terrorist hideouts since the start of the operation on 9 February.
Operation Sinai 2018 targets "terrorist and criminal elements and organisations" in northern and central Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert, the military said at the start of the operation.