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Egyptian Helicopters Attack Militants in Sinai

Egyptian soldiers and a military helicopter are seen deployed in the northeastern part of the Sinai Peninsula near the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip in this on May 21, 2013. file photo.
Egyptian military helicopters attacked Islamist militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula for the second straight day Sunday.

The army calls it the biggest military operation against terrorists in the Sinai in years.

At least nine militants have been killed since Saturday when helicopters opened fire on suspected militant hideouts. Large numbers of weapons have been reported captured.

Islamist militants took advantage of the security vacuum left when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak fled in 2011. Attacks against police and soldiers have surged since the military ousted pro-Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July.

Also Sunday, a militant group calling itself Partisans of Jerusalem claimed responsibility for last week's assassination attempt against Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim. The claim appeared on a militant website.

Ibrahim was unhurt when a suicide bomber attacked his convoy Thursday. At least 21 people were wounded.