The Egyptian military said on Tuesday that its air force had carried out a desert raid that killed "a large number of terrorist elements" responsible for the deaths of 16 policemen this month. The operation also freed a police officer who had been taken hostage in the October 20 shootout with militants in the western Desert, an army official said.
Authorities are fighting the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group, which has killed hundreds of security personnel in northern Sinai, more than 500 kilometres (300miles) from the site of this month's clash.
The state television said on Tuesday the military had acted on"confirmed information" on the whereabouts of the militants involved. The air force attacked a hideout in "a mountainous area west of Fayoum" south of Cairo, it said.
The raid destroyed three four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying large quantities of weapons, ammunition, and"extremely explosive material", it said.
Further, a military official said that the operation conducted in cooperation with the police and which used airstrikes and ground forces, succeeded in freeing police captain Mohamed al-Hayes.
He had been kidnapped when armed extremists attacked a police convoy less than 200 kilometres southwest of Cairo, killing at least 16 policemen. No group has yet claimed responsibility.