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Egyptian soldiers killed by roadside bombs in central Sinai: military

The Egyptian army says 10 of its soldiers have been killed by roadside bombs amid clashes with Islamist extremists in Sinai. It said the soldiers died following a raid on an "extremely dangerous" militant hideout.

Roadside bombs have killed 10 Egyptian soldiers during fighting with Islamist militants in central Sinai, the Egyptian military said in a statement on Thursday.

It said that the bombings occurred following an army raid on a "terrorist base" in which 15 extremists were killed and seven others taken prisoner. The three officers and seven enlisted men died while in pursuit of other fighters.

The army said troops destroyed half a ton of TNT explosive and seized other weapons and equipment during the raid.

The statement gave no indication as to when the incidents occurred.

Long-running insurgency

Egyptian security forces have for years been battling a rebellion waged mainly by militants from an "Islamic State" (IS) affiliate in northern Sinai. Recently, the army has spoken of penetrating further into the peninsula's desert and mountainous areas such as Jebel Halal as it tries to discover and destroy insurgent weapons depots.

Hundreds of soldiers and policemen have been killed since the insurgency erupted in 2013 after the army overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and carried out a brutal crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Ägypten Armee Sinai (imago stock&people)

The Egyptian army has a large presence in northern Sinai

Most attacks have been confined to Sinai, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip. However, the group has also claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner flying from south Sinai in October 2015. All 224 people on board the plane - mostly holidaymakers - were killed.

tj/se (Reuters, AFP, AP)