Sixteen militants killed, 34 people arrested in major security operation: Egypt's military

Major assault launched against IS in Egypt

The former general had ordered the military in November to defeat militants in northern Sinai within three months, after an attack on a mosque killed more than 300 people, the deadliest such incident in the Arab world's most populous country.

Four militants and 30 suspects were arrested, it adds.

At least 10 terrorists have been killed on Sunday during a police raid in Arish city of Egypt's North Sinai province bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, a security source and medics told Xinhua.

A major operation was launched on Friday with Egyptian ground, air and naval forces along with border guards and police on the hunt - possibly with the help of Israel.

The statement says they discovered a communication center and six drug farms.

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Egypt's army has been struggling to uproot the strongholds of terrorists, now belonging to the Islamic State branch in Sinai, since the ouster of the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi, in response to mass protests against his rule in 2013.

Last week the New York Times reported that unmarked Israeli aircraft were carrying out covert strikes in Egypt with the Egyptian president's approval.

A military spokesman earlier said that "Operation Sinai 2018" would cover large parts of Sinai, but also parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert, where other militants have waged attacks, some believed to be staged from neighbouring Libya. Members of the armed forces are barred by law from expressing political opinions in Egypt. Konsowa said he had submitted his resignation to the army in 2014 and it was denied.

The group generally targets Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai but also claimed an attack on a tourist site in southern Sinai in April of past year.

"Thus, they (the operations) are based on previous success against the terrorist groups in Sinai, so it has turned now to be carried out on large-scale", Radi said, noting that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is following up the operation.

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