March 23 (UPI) -- Ten Egyptian soldiers died in an attack on an insurgent hideout in the Sinai Peninsula, an army spokesman announced Thursday.
"Our forces raided a terrorist outpost in central Sinai, which led to the killing of 15 Takfiris [extremists] and arrest of seven others," spokesman Tamer al-Refai said in a statement. "While pursuing the terrorists, two army vehicles struck roadside bombs, leading to the martyrdom of three army officers and seven other military personnel."
He said that 15 militants were killed and seven were arrested in the raid, adding that storehouses of explosives and medical equipment were destroyed, and vehicles, explosives, laptop computers and cellphones were seized. The statement came several days after the Egyptian Army announced that 18 "extremely dangerous terrorists" were killed, and 37 arrested, in clashes in various parts of the peninsula.
A number of Islamist extremist groups have used the Egyptian-controlled Sinai Peninsula as a headquarters and staging ground, a situation aggravated by the 2013 ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed in isolated clashes with insurgent groups since 2013. Egyptian authorities say their primary conflict is with the Walayat Sinai group, which has ties to the Islamic State.