By Mohamed al-Rayes
CAIRO (AA) – Three military personnel and dozens of militants were killed as part of a major security offensive in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, according to the Egyptian military on Monday.
A military statement said security forces killed “26 highly dangerous militants armed with automatic rifles and explosives” in northern and central Sinai.
A drone used by militants to monitor security forces in central and northern Sinai was also seized during the operation, the statement said.
Another 26 militants were killed in police raids in the North Sinai city of Arish, according to the statement.
Three military personnel, including two officers, were killed as part of combat operations in the area, the statement said.
The Sinai Peninsula has remained the epicenter of a militant insurgency since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi — Egypt’s first-ever freely elected president — was ousted.
Since February, Egyptian security forces have been waging extensive operations against militants in Sinai and western Egypt suspected of carrying out a series of recent attacks.
According to figures released by the military, around 445 militants and 40 military personnel have so far been killed in the operation, which remains ongoing.