Egyptian soldiers keep guard during a military operation in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with the southern Gaza Strip November 2, 2014. Egypt began clearing residents from its border with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to create a buffer zone following some of the worst anti-state violence since President Mohamed Mursi was overthrown last year. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
CAIRO, Dec 16 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt's armed forces killed 17 "terrorists" in raids in Sinai from Saturday to Monday, the army spokesman said on Tuesday.
Armed forces spokesman Mohamed Samir said in a statement that security forces also arrested 11 implicated in "terrorist plots targeting armed forces and police personnel."
Security forces destroyed as well 64 "terrorist headquarters" and 22 farms belonging to "terrorists", Samir said.
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.