ARISH, Egypt, March 31 (Xinhua) -- At least three extremists were killed and 52 others were arrested in a security raid on their hideouts in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah in Egypt's North Sinai governorate, a security source told Xinhua.
"The three attempted to blow up a military convoy by an explosive device at Al-Shallaq seacoast road in Sheikh Zuweid when the security forces exchanged fire with them and killed them," the source added.
Meanwhile, the security defused another explosive device near Arish International Hospital and destroyed 14 huts, three pickups, six bikes, five smuggling tunnels and two houses with basement tunnels in Rafah city according to the source.
Egypt's security forces have been launching a massive security campaign to clamp down on Islamist extremists who have been accused of orchestrating the recent attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula and other parts of the country including the capital Cairo.
Over the past few weeks, similar security operations in Sinai left dozens killed and many others arrested. Since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the military last July, attacks against security personnel and buildings have mounted and the Islamist militants are using the peninsula as a stronghold.
The al-Qaida-inspired, Sinai-based group called Ansar Bayt al- Maqdis has claimed responsibility for many of the reported attacks.