Egyptian security forces killed four suspected jihadists in the restive northern Sinai allegedly involved in a deadly attack this week on a police checkpoint, the interior ministry said Saturday.
The ministry said the suspected attackers were killed in a shootout as security forces raided a building used as a hideout in the town of el-Arish, and three assault rifles and an explosive vest were seized.
The ministry said the four were implicated in an Islamic State-claimed attack on a police checkpoint in northern Sinai on Wednesday that authorities say left eight policemen dead.
Since the attack, operations by security forces have killed a total of 26 “terrorists” linked to the attack, according to the ministry.
The Sinai Peninsula is the epicenter of an insurgency spearheaded by IS jihadists which surged following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi after mass protests against his one-year rule.
In February 2018, the Egyptian army launched a nationwide operation against militants mainly focused on the volatile northern part of Sinai and the western desert, along the porous border with Libya.
According to official figures, around 650 militants have been killed since the start of the operation, while the army has lost some 50 soldiers.
No independent statistics are available and the region is largely cut off to journalists, making verification of casualty figures extremely difficult.