CAIRO, Dec 18 (Aswat Masriya) – Nine "terrorists" were killed on Thursday in a crossfire with armed forces in the Sinai Peninsula, Mohamed Samir, armed forces spokesman said.
Twelve others were arrested, four of whom are wanted for security reasons, and the rest are suspects, Samir added. The campaign, part of armed forces' security raids in the Peninsula, was carried out over two days.
Armed forces also destroyed 13 "terrorist hotbeds" and 5 farms, as well as two vehicles, and three motorbikes used in terrorist operations.
Militants have stepped up attacks targeting security forces in Egypt, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, since the army's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, which followed mass protests against his rule.
At least 30 military personnel were killed in a suicide blast which targeted a security checkpoint in Sinai's Sheikh Zuweid on October 24, in the worst militant attack since Mursi's ouster.
Egypt's most dangerous militant group, the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for the attack in a video released on November 14, shortly after pledging allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency and a nighttime curfew in parts of the Sinai Peninsula in response to the attack.