Egypt’s military said troops killed 17 jihadists in shoot-outs in the restive Sinai Peninsula Thursday, the anniversary of the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.
It said another three were arrested and that troops destroyed four vehicles belonging to jihadists in Rafah, on the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
Since Morsi was deposed, militant attacks have hit the north of the mostly desert Sinai, but also hit Cairo and the Nile Delta.
In reaction, the army has poured troops into the peninsula.
Last week gunmen killed four Egyptian policemen on the road between Rafah and El-Arish in northern Sinai.
Meanwhile, police swiftly crushed protests Thursday by Islamists marking the anniversary of Morsi’s ouster.
Morsi, the country’s first freely elected leader, was overthrown after millions protested against his divisive one-year rule.
The ex-army chief who toppled him, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was recently elected to replace him.