Egypt kills 19 jihadists in Sinai: army

web_photo_Egypt_army_11022018

Egyptian Army's Armoured Vehicles are seen on a highway to North Sinai during a launch of a major assault against militants, in Ismailia, Egypt, in this undated handout picture made available by the Ministry of Defence February 9, 2018.

Egyptian Army's Armoured Vehicles are seen on a highway to North Sinai during a launch of a major assault against militants, in Ismailia, Egypt, in this undated handout picture made available by the Ministry of Defence February 9, 2018.

web_photo_Egypt_army_11022018

Egyptian Army's Armoured Vehicles are seen on a highway to North Sinai during a launch of a major assault against militants, in Ismailia, Egypt, in this undated handout picture made available by the Ministry of Defence February 9, 2018.

Egyptian Army's Armoured Vehicles are seen on a highway to North Sinai during a launch of a major assault against militants, in Ismailia, Egypt, in this undated handout picture made available by the Ministry of Defence February 9, 2018.

CAIRO – Egypt&39;s army said on Thursday it killed 19 presumed jihadists in the Sinai peninsula during a large-scale "anti-terror" operation.

Egyptian forces launched operation "Sinai 2018" in February in the peninsula where soldiers and security forces have been battling the Islamic State group.

READ: Four soldiers, 10 jihadists killed in Egypt Sinai campaign

A military statement said 19 suspected extremists were killed in gun battles with army and security forces in the central and northern Sinai in recent days.

Around 200 jihadists and at least 33 soldiers have been killed since the operation was launched, according to official figures.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, on a visit to the Sinai last month, promised residents the operation would be finished "as soon as possible".