EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Security officials say Egyptian government forces have killed seven suspected militants during raids against hideouts in a village south of the town of el-Arish in northern Sinai.
They said the Sunday raids took place in al-Ghora village, some 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of el-Arish.
The killings are the first reported casualties among the suspected militants since the start late last week of a major offensive against militant groups in the Sinai Peninsula.
The offensive followed the killing last Sunday of 16 Egyptian soldiers by suspected militants near the border with Gaza and Israel.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
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