Egypt army kills 16 jihadists in Sinai

Major assault launched against IS in Egypt

Egypt military operation kills 16 militants in Sinai Peninsula

"The air force targeted and destroyed 66 targets used by terrorist elements to hide from air and artillery attacks", for shelter during raids by security forces, he said in a statement. It involves land, naval and air forces from the army and police, and covers north and central Sinai, the Nile Delta and the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.

The authenticity and date of the 23-minute video could not immediately be verified, but a reference to an Egyptian military statement on Friday suggested that at least part of it was completed after the security operation began.

Militant attacks increased dramatically in Egypt since the military's 2013 ouster of elected but divisive Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The air force also discovered and destroyed an explosives-making laboratory and a communications centre, as well as six cannabis and opium fields, he said.

After a gun and a bomb attack on a mosque in November took the lives of more than 300 people, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ordered the military to defeat Islamists in the region by the end of this month. The attack was said to be the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt's modern history. Since then, the armed forces waged the four-phase operation of "Martyr's Right", killing hundreds of terrorists.

"The armed forces call upon Egyptian people in all parts of the country to closely cooperate with law enforcement forces to confront terrorism, uproot it and immediately report any elements threatening the security and stability of the country", military spokesman Colonel Tamer al Rifai said in a televised address.

The comprehensive anti-terror operation "Sinai 2018" comes weeks before Egypt starts its 2018 presidential elections scheduled for late March, where incumbent President Sisi is expected to make an easy win for a second term due to the lack of strong challengers in the race.

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