By Rabia al-Sokkary
At least four troops and two dozens militants were killed Saturday in a fresh bout of violence in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula.
Army forces killed 20 militants during a raid in northern and central Sinai, military spokesman, Col. Tamer al-Rifai, said in a statement.
He said seven militants were injured and 36 others detained during the swoop.
“Four army personnel, including two officers, were killed in a bomb blast during the raid,” al-Rifai said.
According to the spokesman, a number of houses and vehicles belonging to the militants were destroyed during the raid.
Army forces destroyed two underground tunnels and the entrances of five other tunnels along border between the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip during the swoop, he said.
Since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi -- Egypt’s first freely-elected president -- was ousted in a military coup, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel deployed in Sinai have been killed amid an ongoing militant insurgency.
The Egyptian security forces, meanwhile, continue to wage a fierce campaign against what they describe as Sinai-based "terrorist groups".
Egypt’s army-backed authorities say they are battling the Welayat Sinai (Province of Sinai) group, which is said to have links to the Daesh terrorist organization.