Egypt Kills 55 Militants in Sinai Peninsula Operation

Egyptian security forces killed 55 Islamist militants in the restive Sinai Peninsula region as it continues an anti-terror operation to stem the insurgency being waged against Egyptian authorities, the Egyptian military said in a statement on Tuesday.

Two Egyptian soldiers were also killed in the clashes, while 12 soldiers were injured and 35 militants were arrested, the military added in the statement seen by Reuters. The operation was part of Operation "Right of the Martyr" that began on September 7 and is focused on the towns of Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid and El-Arish.

30 terrorist bases were destroyed and 41 explosive devices were defused, Egypt's state MENA news agency reported, according to China's Xinhua.

Egyptian authorities have faced deadly attacks by Islamists in the region since the overthrow of Egypt's first-ever democratically elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013. A prominent jihadist group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, pledged allegiance to ISIS last year to become the Sinai Province group.

In the counter-terror operation, 415 militants have been killed and 320 people have been arrested so far, according to Egyptian military claims calculated by Reuters since it began.

Earlier this week, Egyptian security forces mistakenly killed 12 people, including at least two Mexican tourists, in what the country's Interior Ministry said was an anti-terror operation. The attack drew condemnation from the Mexican government.

The tourist group was allegedly traveling in a restricted zone in the Wahat area of the Western Desert when the Egyptian forces conducted the operation, which also injured 10 Mexicans and Egyptians, the ministry said in a statement seen by the BBC.

The North African country's tourism industry is in crisis due to the surge of Islamist attacks in the country. In June, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive at the site of the ancient Temple of Karnak in the city of Luxor, a previously popular tourist destination. Another terror plot was also prevented in Giza, the site of the Egyptian pyramids, in the same week.