Egypt: Military helicopter crashes in Sinai

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Egyptians wave national flags as they greet an army helicopter flying over Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. As Egyptians mark the third anniversary of their spectacular revolt against autocrat Hosni Mubarak in the name of democracy on Saturday, there has been a powerful sign of the country's stunning reversals since: letters of despair by some of the prominent activists who helped lead the uprising, leaked from the prisons where they are now jailed. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

CAIRO (AP) — Spokesman of Egypt's military says an army helicopter crashed and its crew is missing in the northern Sinai Peninsula, where troops are battling Islamic militants.

Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali says in a statement that the accident took place early Saturday near the village of el-Kharouba village. He provided no further details on the cause of the crash.

The Egyptian military has been waging operations for months in the northern Sinai to uproot Islamic militants who took hold of several towns and villages in the aftermath of 2011 uprising.

Sinai-based groups intensified their militancy after the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3 military coup. One group, Ansar Beit al-Muqdis claimed responsibility for a series of bombings in Cairo Friday that killed six.