The armed forces announced, in two separate statements, the killing of five militants in central and north Sinai operations to hunt down takfiri elements, military spokesperson Tamer Al-Refai said.
On Monday night, the spokesperson announced that a militant was killed in clashes with security forces, while 18 others were arrested in the process. He added that several cars, motor bikes, and explosive devices were destroyed. The killed militant was described in the statement as a leader of takfiri groups, but his identity was not revealed.
On Tuesday morning, another statement announced the killing of four militants in north Sinai, as well as the destruction of several dens and hideouts allegedly used by extremists.
Local media reported that security forces have been on alert since Monday morning when an Israeli soldier was shot, amid suspicions that the bullet came from the Sinai peninsula. Israeli media quoted sources from the Israeli Defence Forces saying that the soldier might have been injured due to a spillover from internal fighting between militants and Egyptian security forces.
Since 2013, state security forces, represented by both the army and the police, have been engaged in violent clashes with Sinai Province, known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to IS and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the course of the last two years, the Egyptian armed forces launched counter-attacks against militants across the Sinai peninsula, where the group is based, particularly in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish.