The Egyptian army is seeking to clamp down on an IS-linked insurgency in the Sinai with the death-toll inflicted on its armed forces looking likely to rise following another attack.
Ten Egyptian soldiers, including three officers, were killed in clashes with armed men in the central Sinai region, the country’s military said early on Thursday.
Medical sources said that the clashes took place in the Jabal Sahabah area of the Sinai, according to The New Arab.
The dead included chief of staff Yahya Hassan, commander of the 116th Brigade of the Egyptian army, in addition to Commander Ahmed Malik and Major Mohammed Omar, the source said.
The clashes come at a time when media outlets affiliated with the Cairo government have reported that the Egyptian army is currently conducting raids in the Sinai targeting “high risk terrorist targets”.
On Twitter Egyptian army spokesman Col. Tamer Mohamed Mahmoud al-Rifai said that the current raids had led to the death of several militants, the arrest of others, and the discovery of a number of arms caches.
Egypt is currently battling an insurgency in the Sinai lead mainly by Islamic State group affiliated militants.
The desert area, which borders Israel, has become increasingly volatile since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and the military coup against Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamad Morsi in 2013.
In addition to carrying out attacks targeting military personnel, and Coptic Christians, IS affiliated militants also claimed responsibility for the October 2015 bombing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai, whick killed all 224 passengers on board.