The Interior Ministry said today the firefight broke out when the forces raided a suspected hideout in el-Arish city. It said the militants were planning attacks targeting security forces, and were in possession of explosives, rifles and ammunition.
Egypt has been battling militants in the northern part of Sinai Peninsula for years, but the insurgency became far more deadly after the 2013 military ouster of Mohammed Morsi, an elected but divisive Islamist president.
An Islamic State affiliate based in the Sinai has carried out a number of high-profile attacks in recent years, mainly targeting security forces and Egypt's Christian minority.
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