The Egyptian Army conducted an operation against militants in the Sinai Peninsula, killing dozens, the military announced on Tuesday.
According to a statement from the military, as many as 59 militants were killed in the operation in northern Sinai, while another 142 were said to be captured. In addition, the military said that dozens of vehicles were destroyed, while a number of weapons caches were recovered. The Army confirmed that seven Egyptian military personnel were killed in the security sweep.
The figures were not immediately verifiable, as Egypt has restricted media access to northern Sinai.
Egypt is engaged in a multiyear counterinsurgency effort against a local Islamic State affiliate, which has conducted attacks on security forces and civilians in the Sinai Peninsula, especially in the vicinity of al-Arish. In February 2018, the military announced the start of Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018, in which tens of thousands of security personnel have deployed to restore stability to the area.
In an interview aired earlier this year on CBS, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi confirmed that the Egyptian military has coordinated with Israel over the Sinai military action. Under the 1979 peace treaty, the Sinai Peninsula is to remain a demilitarized zone. However, in recognition of the militant threat in the area, Israel has permitted the Egyptian military to increase the size of its deployment in the area. In 2018, The New York Times reported that cooperation between the two countries has included over 100 Israeli air strikes on militant positions in Sinai.