CAIRO, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- An Egypt's military forces spokesman said Saturday that 32 criminal elements had been killed and one injured during the ongoing military operation in Sinai Peninsula in coordination with Israel after 16 soldiers were killed by gunmen in the lawless area a month ago.
Ahmed Mohamed Ali told a press conference that the first stage of the operation was successful, in which 32 criminals were killed and one was injured, and that 20 vehicles used by the criminal members, a huge number of weapons and ammunition were confiscated.
"The operation is divided into two stages, the first stage is from Aug. 7 to Aug. 30. And the second one will be continued until regaining security to pave the way for further operation in Sinai, " Ali said.
"The second stage aimed at targeting all the criminal points completely," he said, adding that "the army will not accuse any party or announce names of organizations until investigations are finished."
"The criminal personnel are ranged from 400 to 600, and killing 32 in the first stage without any injury in the security forces or citizens is considered as a great success," the spokesman said.
Also, a total of 31 tunnels at the northern borders with the Gaza Strip were discovered.
"The military operation in Sinai was with no coordination with U.S. forces," Ali said, adding that "The security existence in Sinai didn't present any violation to the peace process with Israel."
The armed forces intensified their existence in Sinai, following the deadly Aug. 5 attack on the checkpoint in Rafah which left 16 soldiers killed and seven injured.