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Mar 8, 8:57 AM EST

Egypt says 16 troops killed in month-old offensive

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CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's military says 16 troops have been killed and 19 wounded since a wide-scale operation against Islamic militants was launched a month ago.

Army spokesman Col. Tamer al-Rifai said Thursday that 105 militants have been killed and that more than 2,800 people have been arrested, with many later released.

The ongoing nationwide offensive began Feb. 9 and includes operations in the Western Desert bordering Libya. The figures provided by the military could not be independently confirmed as media access to the northern Sinai is heavily restricted.

An Islamic State affiliate based in northern Sinai has carried out attacks across Egypt in recent years, mainly targeting security forces and the country's Christian minority.

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