"The intensive efforts exerted recently have led to the capture of most suspects and yielded details on the terrorist attacks in the Sinai," an Interior Ministry statement said on Tuesday.

"At dawn, police launched an operation in Jabal Halal in the
northern Sinai, aimed at capturing members of a terrorist group that played a major part in planning and carrying out the terrorist attacks in Sinai," the ministry said.

However, it did not elaborate on the number of arrests or specify which attacks the suspects were accused of involvement in.

 

Shootout

 

On Tuesday, police clashed with armed men east of the Suez Canal during a search operation that left one police officer and two suspects wounded, security officials told The Associated Press.

Police detained the wounded suspects, the security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to issue any public statements. The official did not comment on the extent of injuries.

The shootout took place in al-Mamrat, a district 30km east of the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya.

Police have been carrying out searches for those responsible for the 23 July bombings in the south Sinai resort of Sharm al-Shaikh, which killed 70 people, as well as the attacks in Taba and another east Sinai resort in October, which killed 34 people.

 

Police detained 500 people for
questioning around el-Arish town

In the massive search in northeast Sinai, about 4000 police and 35 armoured vehicles were deployed for the search operation on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The search began on Monday when the police detained 500 people for questioning around the town of el-Arish.

 

Two Canadian women peacekeepers were lightly wounded on 15 August in an area of the peninsula not far from the border with the Gaza Strip when a bomb struck their vehicle.

Torture alleged


On 23 July, multiple car bombings rocked tourist-packed Sharm el-Sheikh, killing some 70 people in Egypt's worst ever such attack.

On 7 October last year, similar simultaneous bombings killed at least 34 people, including several Israeli tourists in resorts further north on the Red Sea coast including the border town of Taba.

Two Egyptians accused of taking part in the October bombings are currently on trial, while a third was killed earlier this month near the Suez canal.

Security forces have carried out several raids in the mountainous Sinai region, rounding up thousands of Bedouin, many of whom have since complained of torture during their detention.