Four militants of the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) militant group were killed by the Egyptian army in Sinai Tuesday, security forces told Youm7.
The militants were spotted by the army forces while allegedly attempting to smuggle arms near the North Sinai’s Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, the source said.
The militants were killed after the army forces surrounded them for more than four hours in a farm nearby the border crossing, the source said.
Egypt has created a one-kilometer-wide and 14-kilometer-long buffer zone on the eastern border of North Sinai as part of its fight against militants in the area.
The incident occurred days after the military spokesperson Mohamed Samir announced that security forces had killed 16 suspects in two military operations in North Sinai.
According to a Saturday statement on Samir’s Facebook page, security forces have killed 725 “terrorists” during the past six months.
Egypt has witnessed a significant rise in militancy since the military-backed ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. According to the Interior Ministry, militant attacks have killed more than 500 security personnel since then.
The ABM militant group has claimed responsibility for several attacks on security forces mainly in Sinai. The group pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS) group before it changed its name to Wilayat Sinai (Sinai Province) in 2014.