Egypt said Sunday that its security forces have killed at least 52 suspected terrorists in recent days in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula.
The military said in a statement that another 49 suspected jihadists have been arrested. It said it destroyed 26 hideouts and weapons depots, and dismantled 64 explosive devices.
The military said airstrikes destroyed 32 vehicles containing weapons and ammunition in the Western Desert and in the south.
It wasn’t possible to independently confirm the claims as access to the northern Sinai is heavily restricted.
Egypt has been battling jihadists for years, but the Sinai-based insurgency — affiliated with the Islamic State terror group — gained strength after the 2013 overthrow of elected but divisive Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
More than 200 suspected terrorists and at least 35 soldiers have been killed since Egypt launched operation “Sinai 2018” to rid the peninsula of Islamic extremists in February, according to the military.
Human Rights Watch says Egypt has stepped up its demolitions of homes, businesses, and farms in the Sinai since launching the campaign on February 9.
The army says that local people in the Sinai support its operation and receive humanitarian aid.