Egypt’s army said Monday it had killed 83 militants in clashes in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where an Islamic State group affiliate has waged a long-running insurgency.
Security forces “eliminated 77 takfiris”, referring to Sunni Muslim extremists, who were found with stacks of weapons and ammunition in north and central Sinai, the army said.
Six other “highly dangerous” militants were killed in shootouts in the region, the army said in a statement on a nationwide anti-militant operation between September 28 and November 4.
Three soldiers were killed or wounded in the fighting, the statement added, without elaborating.
About 61 “criminals, wanted individuals and suspects” were arrested, it said.
Security forces also destroyed dozens of hideouts and vehicles as part of the ongoing operation, according to the statement.
Egypt has for years been fighting an insurgency in North Sinai that escalated after the military’s 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests.
In February 2018, the army and police launched a nationwide operation against militants, mainly focused on North Sinai.
The operation also targets other areas including the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.
The latest army figures brings the death toll of suspected militants in the Sinai region to more than 830.
About 60 security personnel have been killed since the start of the offensive.
Following the death of IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi late last month, the group’s North Sinai affiliate has pledged allegiance to his successor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi.