CAIRO, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- At least 16 hardline Jihadists were killed Saturday in a massive military raid in North Sinai's Sheikh Zuweid's city bordering Israel, a security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
"One of them, Ismail Khoukha, is a leading member of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group," the source said, noting the group is inspired by al-Qaida and based in Sinai.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis had formerly claimed responsibility for a recent string of blasts targeting police facilities and personnel in the capital Cairo, Suez and Sinai, killing at least 20 people and injuring about 130.
Since Islamist-oriented president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military last July, hardliners took the peninsula as a stronghold for their attacks.
Over the past few months, the Egyptian army launched large- scale security operations in coordination with police to uproot terrorist hideouts in Sinai's Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid cities.