Egyptian soldiers on Gazan border
Egyptian soldiers on Gazan borderAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Egyptian security forces on Tuesday killed 11 militants in the restive North Sinai region, the interior ministry said, according to AFP.

The "terrorist elements", armed with weapons and explosives, were killed in a shootout during a raid on their hideout near a police station in the provincial capital El-Arish, the ministry said in a statement.

According to intelligence from the national security department, the militants used the hideout as "a base to launch their hostile operations," it added.

Egypt has been fighting an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula for several years, which at times has spilled over into other parts of the country. Most of the attacks this time period have been claimed by the Sinai Province, the Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in Egypt.

The country has been under a state of emergency since April of 2018, after two suicide bombings at churches claimed by ISIS killed at least 45 people in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria.

In February of 2018, Egypt launched operation “Sinai 2018” in an effort to rid the Sinai Peninsula of Islamic terrorists.

Some 650 militants and around 45 soldiers have been killed since the operation began, according to a tally based on statements by the armed forces.

Earlier this month, Egyptian security forces killed at least 17 suspected militants in raids in Cairo and in another province.

The raids came four days after a car exploded outside the county's main cancer hospital, killing at least 20 people in what President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi later said was a terrorist attack.