The Egyptian Army has announced on Friday the launch of a major operation against extremist militants across the country.
“The law enforcement forces began this morning implementing the comprehensive confrontation against the terrorist and criminal elements and organizations in northern and central Sinai,” an army spokesman said in a televised statement.
The spokesman added that the operation also includes other parts of Egypt such as the Delta and the western desert.
The main threat to the security of Egypt comes from the north of the Sinai Peninsula.
Egypt has been fighting extremist insurgency in northern Sinai since the army overthrew then-President Mohamed Mursi in 2013. Police and security forces have frequently been the target of deadly attacks staged by insurgents in the area.
In 2014, Sinai’s indigenous terrorists pledged their allegiance to ISIL terrorist group. Since then, the Wilayat Sinai, the ISIL branch in Egypt, has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly attacks in the area.