CAIRO, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian army said on Wednesday that it found and destroyed over the past six months 40 smuggling tunnels in North Sinai province bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
"From January to June 2017, the border guard forces managed to discover and destroy the openings of 40 tunnels on the borderline in North Sina, in addition to busting more than 3,000 persons of different nationalities during their illegal infiltration and migration attempts," Egyptian military spokesman Tamer al-Refaay said in a statement.
North Sinai has been the center of anti-government terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military removed former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests.
A Sinai-based extremist militant group loyal to the regional Islamic State (IS) militia claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Egyptian military announced that its airstrikes destroyed five vehicles and two explosive depots used by the militants in North Sinai, killing those inside.
Meanwhile, the army in cooperation with the police killed hundreds of militants and arrested a similar number of suspects as part of the country's anti-terror war declared in 2013 by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who was then the army chief, following Morsi's removal.