Egypt: Army kills 3 militants in northern Sinai offensive

An Egyptian military official says the army has killed three militants in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula.

The official says they died in Wednesday clashes, part of a military offensive against Islamic hard-liners in the desert region that adjoins Israel and the Gaza Strip. He says an armored vehicle also blew up the militants car during the fighting.

Insurgents have escalated attacks, hitting targets in Cairo as well as in Sinai, since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in a coup that followed millions-strong protests.

The official says recent operations targeted seven villages in the region. In one, el-Loufiytat, the army uncovered a weapons cache and set houses and huts on fire

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the press.