Egypt says foreigners arrested amid Sinai operation

Egypt's air forces destroy 10 vehicles loaded with weapons near Libya border

Meawhile, the statement noted that the Air Forces destroyed seven vehicles that a number of militants were using to flee the army's intensive operations.

Egyptian security forces have killed 15 militants and arrested 153 people, including foreigners, as part of an ongoing military operation in the restive Sinai Peninsula, according to the military.

Based on army statements, around 38 militants have been killed since the latest offensive to crush insurgents blamed for a string of attacks began.

Police and army units have "eliminated an extremely unsafe terrorist cell consisting of 10 takfiris hiding in a house in the city of Arish after an exchange of fire with the raiding forces, and seized quantities of weapons, ammunition and explosive devices that were in their possession", the communiqué said.

On Sunday, the army said in a statement carried by state TV that it had killed 16 militants and arrested 34 suspects.

The spokesman said 79 explosive devices were defused and 143 hideouts destroyed during the operation.

A 23-minute video purportedly by the affiliate of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Egypt has called on its fighters to stage attacks during next month's presidential elections.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appears set to win a second term in the March election.

The Sinai Peninsula has remained the epicenter of a militant insurgency since 2013, when the army ousted Mohamed Morsi - Egypt's first freely elected president and a Muslim Brotherhood leader - in a military coup.

The northern part of the Sinai Peninsula has been the center of terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, but the operation have killed 53 terrorists until Wednesday.

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