Six jihadists, two Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai

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 – Six jihadists and two Egyptian soldiers were killed last week during a sweeping operation against Islamic State group militants in the Sinai Peninsula, the army said on Sunday.

The army launched the campaign on February 9 after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who this week won a second term, gave it a three-month deadline to crush IS in the Sinai.

Army spokesman Tamer Rifai in a statement said the six jihadists were killed in an exchange of fire in the north of the Sinai, as the army launched a raid against a "very dangerous terrorist cell".

An officer and a soldier were also killed last week and two other troops wounded, he said.

READ: Egypt mounts major operation against Sinai jihadists

During the same period the army arrested more than 500 "wanted criminals" and prevented 169 people of various nationalities from infiltrating across the western border with Libya, the military said.

Since the campaign was launched, more than 100 jihadists and at least 22 soldiers have been killed, according to official figures.

Sisi won the second term with 96.9 percent of valid votes during this week&39;s presidential election, in which he faced only one candidate, state media reported on Friday.

The National Election Authority is scheduled to announce the full official result on Monday.

In November Sisi, a former army chief issued an ultimatum to the army to crush the jihadists after suspected IS gunmen massacred more than 300 worshippers at a Sinai mosque associated with Sufi Muslim mystics.

READ: Militant leader one of five extremists killed in Sinai

Security forces have sought to quell attacks by an Egyptian jihadist group that later declared allegiance to IS since the military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, following mass protests against him.

The group has killed hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians, mainly in its North Sinai stronghold but also elsewhere in Egypt.

The jihadists have also killed scores of Christians in church bombings and shootings.