Four Egyptian Soldiers, 36 Militants Killed in Sinai Clashes

Military claims it destroyed hundreds of hideouts, munition and weapons depots during the operation. 345 suspected militants and fleeing criminals have been arrested, according to the statement

FILE PHOTO: Egyptian soldiers and police special forces are seen during a launch of a major assault against militants in the Sinai peninsula.
\ HANDOUT/ REUTERS

Four Egyptian soldiers and 36 Islamic militants have died in the past five days of fighting in the restive Sinai Peninsula, the Egyptian army said Monday.

The statement said one officer was among the four killed army personnel. It also said that eight soldiers were wounded, including two officers.

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The military claimed it also destroyed 400 hideouts, munition and weapons depots and dismantled 93 explosive devices during the operation.

345 suspected militants and fleeing criminals have been arrested, according to the statement.

20 Egyptian soldiers have been killed since Egypt launched the wide-scale operation more than a month ago.

Egypt has been battling Islamic militants for years, but the insurgency gathered steam and grew deadlier after the 2013 ouster of Mohammed Morsi by the military, led by current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. Morsi was an Islamist president whose one year in office proved divisive.