By Mohamed Mahmoud
CAIRO (AA) – Army forces have killed 12 militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula as part of a major security operation in the restive area, according to the Egyptian military.
In a statement on Monday, the army said 92 suspected militants were detained and 60 targets destroyed during the offensive.
The security operation began on Friday, one month before the country’s presidential election, set for March 26-28.
“Air Force planes spotted and destroyed 60 targets belonging to terrorist elements upon intelligence tips-off,” military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said in the statement.
“Twelve armed militants were killed in an exchange of fire with security forces,” he said.
The military spokesman said 23 explosive devices were defused and 20 vehicles used by militants were seized during the operation.
There was no information about casualties among security forces during the operation.
On Sunday, the Egyptian army said 16 militants were killed and 126 others detained since the operation began on Friday.
Last month, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the evacuation of a 5-kilometer zone near the Al-Arish airport in northeastern Sinai.
Late last year, the Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on the airport in which an Egyptian army officer was killed and two others were injured.
The Sinai Peninsula has remained the epicenter of a militant insurgency since 2013, when the army ousted Mohamed Morsi -- Egypt’s first freely elected president and a Muslim Brotherhood leader -- in a military coup.