10 terrorists killed in police raid in Egypt's Sinai

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"The armed forces and the police assert their determination to uproot terrorism and to achieve peace and stability", said Colonel Tamer al-Rifai in the statement.

In its previously announced operation in Sinai, Egypt said it has killed 16 Islamist militants, destroyed dozens of weapons dumps, motorbikes and cars, according to a statement from the military. With North Sinai closed off for non-residents and journalists, the army's casualty figures could not be independently confirmed.

On Friday, the military and police began a major new security operation nationwide, focusing in particular on Sinai, 15 days before the presidential election campaign is to begin with voting to be held in late March.

The security sweep in the Sinai, the heart of a persistent insurgency by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group, comes as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seeks re-election next month.

Apart from Sinai, the Egyptian army said the operation would also cover parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert, where other militants have waged attacks, some believed to be staged out of neighbouring Libya.

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It said many foreign countries have their eyes set on Sinai, claiming that terrorists carry out attacks in Sinai with "technological backing from intelligence [services] of countries hostile to Egypt".

They added that the dead bodies of the 10 militants have been moved to a hospital in nearby Ismailia province. Members of the armed forces are barred by law from expressing political opinions in Egypt. Konsowa said he had submitted his resignation to the army in 2014 and it was denied.

The Sinai peninsula, where Egypt's most active militants are based, borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.

In November a year ago, militants detonated a bomb inside a crowded mosque in the Sinai Peninsula and then sprayed gunfire on panicked worshippers as they fled, killing at least 305 people and wounding at least 128 others.

The group generally targets Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai but also claimed an attack on a tourist site in southern Sinai in April of past year. No group has claimed responsibility for that attack.