CAIRO: Egyptian troops and helicopter gunships attacked Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula yesterday in a drive to crush a security threat now spilling over into the rest of the country.
Three soldiers were wounded in clashes in three separate villages, security officials said.
Islamist militant attacks have increased in the desert region adjoining Israel and the Gaza Strip and elsewhere in Egypt since the army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Mursi on July 3 following mass protests against his rule.
In the latest operation, security forces detained two wanted men and seized a rocket, dynamite used to build bombs, and 200 books on Islamic fundamentalism, security officials said.
Authorities are also focused on Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which had held power for just over a year when Mursi was ousted.
Thousands of pro-Mursi protesters marched after Friday prayers in several areas of Cairo after authorities boosted security in sites where crowds had gathered in the past.
In Alexandria, one protester died from a gunshot wound and four others were wounded, medical and security sources said.
Demonstrations were also held in the cities of Fayoum, Alexandria, Assiut and Qena. State television said clashes broke out between Brotherhood supporters and residents of the Nile Delta town of Mahala.
“Down, down with military rule!” shouted the demonstrators in Cairo.
Some walked to a military hospital and wrote graffiti on a wall reading: “The coup is terrorism and Sisi is a killer.”