Egyptian forces have killed 13 Islamist militants during clashes in the restive Sinai Peninsula, the army said.
In a statement late Thursday, it said nine of its soldiers had been “killed or wounded,” without indicating when the fighting had taken place.
“In the framework of the armed forces’ efforts in the struggle against terrorism in north and central Sinai, 13 (jihadist) elements were eliminated,” it said.
It added that it had seized 15 automatic rifles, a large stash of various munitions, motorbikes, binoculars, mobile phones, and cash in multiple currencies.
Egyptian forces have for years fought an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, led mainly by the local branch of the Islamic State group.
Sinai militants have multiplied their attacks against Egyptian forces since the army’s 2013 ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Since February 2018, the authorities have been conducting a nationwide operation against Islamist militants, mainly focused on North Sinai and the country’s Western Desert.
Around 1,073 suspected militants and dozens of security personnel have been killed in the Sinai, according to official figures.
No independently sourced death toll is available as North Sinai is off-limits to journalists.