7 soldiers, 59 militants killed in Egypt’s Sinai

Egypt's military is battling militants loyal to ISIS in North Sinai

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Egypt’s military said on Sunday that 59 militants and seven soldiers were killed in fighting in North Sinai the previous day, including three soldiers in a checkpoint rocket attack.

The military is battling militants loyal to the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in North Sinai where an Islamist insurgency has surged over the past two years.

It said a total of seven soldiers were killed on Saturday, after previously saying three died in a checkpoint rocket attack which was claimed by ISIS.

The statement also said troops killed 59 militants.

“The men of the armed forces backed by air support targeted several terrorist dens on Saturday,” the statement said, listing 14 sites where operations took place.

On Saturday, it had said 20 militants were killed in an assault on a militant hide-out, and posted on Facebook a video of air strikes on a building and two trucks.

The army also said four militants were captured and troops were still counting “terrorists killed in the air campaign.”

Militants, mainly in Sinai, have carried out a series of brazen attacks, killing hundreds of members of the security forces since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013.

In a sweeping two-year campaign, the army says it has killed more than 1,100 militants in North Sinai bordering the Palestinian Islamist-run Gaza Strip and Israel.

Militants say their attacks are in retaliation for the brutal crackdown on Morsi supporters in which hundreds of people have been killed and thousands jailed.

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