Egyptian army Puts militant death toll in Sinai at 38

Egypt closed its border with the Gaza Strip Palestinian officials said after Cairo launched a major operation against jihad

The operation involves troops from the Egyptian air force, navy and ground forces as well as the police and border guards.

The video showed what appeared to be footage of past IS attacks in Sinai and the killings of unarmed off-duty soldiers or men suspected of collaborating with security forces.

The dead jihadists had been "hiding inside a house in the vicinity of El-Arish city (North Sinai province's capital) following a shoot-out", spokesperson Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said in the statement.

Operation Sinai 2018 will cover large parts of peninsula but also parts of the Nile Delta and the West Desert, where other militants have waged attacks.

The Egyptian army's statement added that security forces also destroyed a media center with computers, wireless communication equipment, books and documents related to jihadi ideology.

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Moreover, the statement asserted that another six vehicles and 13 motorbikes used by militants were destroyed.

Border guards and naval forces were securing the Suez Canal to make sure navigation through the worldwide waterway was not affected, the statement said.

"We agreed that we would continue our close cooperation on counterterrorism measures, including our joint commitment to the defeat of [Daesh]", Tillerson explained. "The Egyptian people should be confident that the USA commitment to continue to support Egypt in the fight against terrorism and bringing security to the Egyptian people is steadfast".

Over the past four years, Egypt has been battling a terror campaign, led by Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, based in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula that has carried out deadly attacks against security forces and civilians.

The success or failure of the military's latest push will most likely not affect the result of the March 26-28 election.

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