EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — An Egyptian military official says army troops, backed by helicopter gunships, attacked hideouts of Islamic militants in Sinai, killing nine and arresting 10.
The official's account on Tuesday raises the death toll among suspected militants to 29 since the start of a major military offensive in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Saturday.
The official says explosives material, weapons and ammunition were found on Monday in the villages of el-Mahdiya and Naga Shabana, south of the town of Rafah near the border with Gaza.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The Egyptian offensive is trying to eliminate several al-Qaida-inspired groups, which have taken hold in the villages in the lawless region.
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