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4 soldiers, 10 jihadis killed in Egypt Sinai campaign

Latest deaths raise military casualties to 16 since start of sweeping operation against Islamic State last month

Illustrative: Egyptian army conscripts stand guard outside the Suez Canal University hospital in the eastern port city of Ismailia on November 25, 2017, where the victims of a bomb and gun assault on the North Sinai Rawda mosque a day earlier.. (AFP Photo/Mohamed El-Shahed)
Illustrative: Egyptian army conscripts stand guard outside the Suez Canal University hospital in the eastern port city of Ismailia on November 25, 2017, where the victims of a bomb and gun assault on the North Sinai Rawda mosque a day earlier.. (AFP Photo/Mohamed El-Shahed)

Egypt’s military said on Sunday four soldiers and 10 jihadists were killed in a military operation in Sinai against Islamic State group fighters.

The deaths raise military casualties to at least 16 dead, along with more than 100 jihadists, since the start of the operation on February 9, according to previous army tolls.

The army launched the campaign after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who is standing in elections for his second term this month, gave them a three month deadline to crush IS in Sinai.

Sisi issued his ultimatum in November after suspected Islamic State gunmen massacred more than 300 worshipers in a Sinai mosque associated with Muslim Sufi mystics.

A general view shows people looking at the aftermath following a bomb blast which struck worshippers gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday at the Mar Girgis Coptic Church in the Nile Delta City of Tanta, north of Cairo, on April 9, 2017. (AFP Photo/Stringer)

IS in Sinai has been among the group’s most resilient affiliates, killing hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians in Sinai and elsewhere in Egypt.

It has killed scores of Christians in church bombings and shootings, and bombed a Russian airliner carrying tourists from an Egyptian resort in 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

The military says it has evidence IS has sought to move members to Sinai following its defeats in Iraq and Syria.

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