The soldiers were killed during a raid against suspected militants in the central Sinai area.

The Egyptian army says 15 militants were also killed during the raid. (File photo)
The Egyptian army says 15 militants were also killed during the raid. (File photo) (TRT World and Agencies)

Militants killed ten Egyptian soldiers during an army raid against a suspected militant hideout when their vehicles were hit by two improvised bombs in the Sinai peninsula, the army said on Thursday.

Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al Rifai said the security forces also killed 15 militants and arrested seven more during the raid which it said targeted "highly dangerous terrorists" in the central Sinai area.

The security forces destroyed a large amount of explosives and seized other weapons, ammunition and equipment, including roadside bombs, computers, solar panels, documents and mobile phones, Rifai said.

Egypt has been battling an insurgency in northern Sinai for years, mainly by militants from the Daesh affiliate called Sinai Province.

The group has also been behind a string of deadly slayings of Egyptian Christians in northern Sinai, which began in December and has prompted much of the region's Christian Coptic minority to start leaving the area.

The fighting remains hundreds of kilometres away from the Red Sea tourist destinations in southern Sinai, but tourism has failed to recover due to worries over airport security after a bomb brought down a Russian airliner full of tourists in October 2015, killing all 224 people onboard.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies