Egyptian security forces have killed eight suspected terrorists who were involved in a deadly attack this week on a police checkpoint in the restive Sinai Peninsula, the interior ministry said Friday.
Eight policemen were killed in Wednesday’s attack on a checkpoint, claimed by the ISIL terrorist group, southwest of El-Arish, the capital of North Sinai.
Police received reports that a group of militants was “hiding in an olive grove south of El-Arish”, the ministry said in Friday’s statement, adding that sweep operations were ongoing in the area.
After being surrounded, “they opened heavy fire at the (security) forces, who responded killing eight terrorists”, it said, without specifying when it occurred.
Five automatic rifles, an explosive device and two explosive belts were seized, the ministry added.
On Thursday security forces killed 14 suspected militants in response to the deadly checkpoint attack.
In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide offensive against the militants, focused mainly on North Sinai.
The troubled hotspot has long been a center of insurgents affiliated with ISIL that Egypt has battled against.
According to official figures, around 650 militants have been killed since the start of the operation, while the army has lost some 50 soldiers.
No independent statistics are available and the region is largely cut off to journalists, making verification of casualty figures extremely difficult.