Four Egyptian soldiers have been killed in the restive Sinai Peninsula amid ongoing operations meant to root out rebel fighters from the region.
Egyptian army spokesman Brigadier General Mohamed Samir said on Sunday that the troops were killed on the outskirts of el-Arish, the provincial capital and largest city of North Sinai.
Samir said six militants were also killed in clashes with the army.
Militants loyal to the Daesh group are active in Sinai. The Egyptian government says hundreds of policemen and soldiers have died in attacks by the militants. The capital Cairo and the Nile Delta have also witnessed similar clashes.
Most of the attacks have the hallmark of the Daesh-affiliated Velayat Sinai group.
Since September 2015, Egypt’s military has been engaged in a high-scale security operation against the militants in the northern part of Sinai, following coordinated attacks on several army checkpoints that claimed the lives of 21 soldiers in July that year.
Previously known as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, Velayat Sinai has claimed responsibility for most fatal attacks mainly targeting Egyptian army and police personnel.
Velayat Sinai has taken advantage of the turmoil in Egypt following the 2013 ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
The Sinai desert region has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, following a deadly terrorist attack that left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead.
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