World Bulletin / News Desk
The army has said that a "terrorist group said to have been involved in last year's killing of 16 Egyptian border guards in North Sinai had been "dealt" with.
Military spokesman Ahmed Mohamed Ali said the army had "dealt with" the group, members of which, he asserted, "had their hands stained with the blood of Egyptian martyrs [killed] at a border checkpoint in Rafah while breaking their Ramadan fast and who were involved in the kidnapping of seven soldiers in May."
"This terrorist group had planned to carry out a criminal operation against army and police forces and honorable Sinai residents," he added in a statement late Saturday via Facebook.
The military spokesman gave no further details about how the group had been "dealt" with.
In August of last year, at least 16 border guards were killed as they broke their Ramadan fast in an attack by unidentified gunmen on a border checkpoint near the North Sinai city of Rafah.
In May of this year, seven security personnel were abducted by unidentified kidnappers in North Sinai before being released six days later in advance of an impending military operation.
The army statement came one day after four jihadists were killed in an air-strike in Rafah.
The Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group said that an Israeli air-strike had killed four of its members as they were preparing to fire a rocket into Israeli territory.
"Five members of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis – the four martyrs and their commander – arrived in the launch point and started preparing the rockets," the group said in a statement.
"A Zionist drone infiltrated Egyptian territory by over five kilometers and fired its missiles at our heroes, killing four of them. The commander survived the attack," it added.
The army spokesman, for his part, denied the group's allegations regarding an Israeli attack on Egyptian territory.
"Reports about Israeli attacks on Egyptian land are groundless and totally devoid of truth," the spokesman said.
He went on to dismiss allegations that Friday's air-strike had involved security coordination between Egypt and Israel as "baseless, insane and illogical."
On Saturday, thousands of mourners in Sinai marched in a funeral procession for the four slain militants.
According to eyewitnesses, nearly 3,000 people in some 400 vehicles partook in the funeral procession. The convoy passed through several villages before reaching its final destination in Sheikh Zuweid cemetery, where the four slain men were buried.
The Sinai Peninsula, situated near Egypt's borders with Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, has seen almost daily attacks by unknown assailants since ousted president Mohamed Morsi's July 3 overthrow by the military.