Egyptian Army tanks during operation Sinai 2018 (Photo: Egyptian Army Spokesman Facebook page)
Egyptian Armed Forces spokesman Tamer El-Refaie has said in a statement that 36 takfiris were killed and 345 were arrested by army and police forces during the last five days of the counterterrorism Operation Sinai 2018, which started on 9 February in Sinai and other parts of the country.
The Arabic word "takfiri" refers to extremist Sunni Muslims who accuse other Muslims and followers of other religions of being infidels, often as a justification for using violence against them.
"One officer and three soldiers were killed during operations, while another three officers, a non-commissioned officer and five soldiers were injured," the spokesman said.
The statement added that six takfiris were killed during a shootout with police forces in the North Sinai capital of El-Arish.
Air forces destroyed 12 targets used as shelter by terrorists and as well as a booby-trapped vehicle whose driver attempted attack a security checkpoint west of El-Arish.
The army has also located and destroyed 17 vehicles, 67 motorbikes, and 93 IEDs, in addition to confiscating large amounts of TNT, plastic explosives, ammunition and firearms.
The operation 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 army said at the start of the operation.
The spokesman said that counterterrorism forces from the army, along with police forces and border guards, are continuing combing operations in pursuit of any terrorists or criminal elements.
The border guards, in cooperation with forces tasked with securing the Suez Canal waterway, are continuing their mission to protect navigation and tighten security measures at the crossings leading into the Sinai Peninsula.