Egyptian Military Says Militants, Two Civilians Killed in Ongoing Sinai Operation

Egyptian forces detained 59 suspects; civilians were reportedly killed when an explosive device was aimed at troops

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, speaks with Army Chief of Staff Lt., center, and Defense Minister in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, June 14, 2018
Uncredited/AP

Egypt's military said on Tuesday that three militants and two civilians were killed in an ongoing operation in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

"The military operations during the past days resulted in the elimination of three takfiri elements in possession of a machine gun and amounts of ammunition," the Egyptian Armed Forces said in an online statement, using a term for extremists.

It added that its Air Force targeted and destroyed five vehicles and a warehouse used by terrorists in North Sinai.

"Sappers detonated 10 explosive devices planted to target our forces during the operations," it added.

But, it said that two civilians were killed when an explosive device aimed at targeting the troops in Sinai went off. Also a soldier was wounded during clashes with militants.

The forces arrested 59 suspects in North and Central Sinai, it said.

Egypt has seen a spate of attacks targeting security forces, mainly in northern Sinai, since the army's 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

In February, Egypt launched a major security operation against "terrorists and criminal organizations" in the province of Sinai, where security forces are battling Islamist militants.