Two Egyptian police officers were killed in shootout with Islamist militants on Sunday, as tension continued to rise following attempts by Egypt's military to curb terror activity in the desert peninsula.

According to reports, the two were killed, along with three wounded police officers, after Salafi militants opened fire at a patrol car in the town of el-Arish from an ambush.

Recently, there have been reports of intensified activity by Egypt's security forces, mainly in the northeastern corner of the peninsula, along the border with Gaza. Only last week, Egypt announced an extensive military operation to eradicate terror in the northern Sinai, centering on the el-Arish-Rafa-Sheikh Zowaiid triangle.

Meanwhile, details regarding clashes in el-Arish came as DPA reported that Egyptian security forces arrested three Palestinians, suspected of planning to execute a terror attack in Cairo.

According to a senior Egyptian security official cited in the report, an investigation of the suspects, arrested on Friday, indicated that they infiltrated Egypt using Gaza's tunnel systems, and that they paid a large sum of money to a person who was meant to drive them to the Egyptian capital.

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