CAIRO: Seven alleged takfiris (Islamist militants) were killed and 13 suspects were arrested in security raids Tuesday in North Sinai’s towns of Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah, state news agency MENA reported, citing security sources.
Security forces destroyed several hideouts of militants and five vehicles before they combed the area in search for other militants, according to MENA.
Tension in North Sinai, which borders Gaza Strip and Israel, has significantly escalated since the military-backed ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi following 2013 mass protests against his regime.
Since then, scores of security personnel have been killed by militant attacks with responsibility often claimed by Sinai Province, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS) group.
The army has also killed hundreds of militants and destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels leading into Gaza and being used in transporting arms, commodities and militants in both directions.