EL-ARISH: Egyptian helicopter gunships fired rockets early Tuesday at militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula, causing ”dozens” of casualties, a security official said.
He said the two aircraft surprised militant gatherings in three houses in two locations, al-Muqataa and Touma, south of the town of Sheikh Zuweyid near the border with the Gaza Strip.
Attacks by Islamic militants surged in the lawless Sinai after the toppling of Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi in a July 3 coup.
The official said ”dozens” of militants were killed and wounded but that fighting was still ongoing. He did not mention if there were yet any soldiers on the ground to assess the number of casualties.
An eyewitness said the three houses were destroyed and part of a nearby mosque was damaged.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity according to rules, while the witness spoke anonymously because he did not want to be involved.
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