Egyptian security forces launched airstrikes
on Islamist militants' hideouts in Egypt's restive Sinai region on
Friday, killing 20 insurgents, a security official told dpa.
Intensive airstrikes were carried out on mountainous areas where insurgents are believed to be hiding, the source said.
The security source confirmed that airstrikes and shelling resulted in the killing of 20 "terrorist elements" who were trying to escape from the strikes south of the city of Bir al-Abed. He added that the airstrikes are still continuing.
The strikes came a day after Islamist militants killed five people in two separate attacks in Egypt's volatile Sinai region. Three of the five were killed in an ambush by gunmen on a road in central Sinai, the witnesses said.
The other two deaths occurred after a suspected extremist blew himself up near a military armoured vehicle stationed at a taxi stand in the city of Sheikh Zweid in the North Sinai province, injuring a police conscript and a civilian, who later died in hospital. Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.
North Sinai is a hotbed for radical Islamists, who have claimed a series of deadly attacks on security forces in the largely desert region Egypt has battled an insurgency in North Sinai since the 2011 uprising, which toppled long-time autocrat Hosny Mubarak.
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