Egypt's Army announced Saturday that they killed 32 "criminals" in an ongoing anti-terrorism offensive in the Sinai Peninsula called "Operation Sinai."
The deaths are part of the second phase of the operation, which also destroyed 31 tunnels along the Gaza border, arrested 58 suspects for interrogation, and seized weapons and 20 vehicles, according to a press release by Egyptian Armed Forces.
The mission—an attempt to regain control over the Sinai, which has been in a "state of lawlessness" since Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year—began in August with the redeployment of police officers and increased security in the Peninsula, the Associated Press reported.
Though both the United States and Israel have expressed their worries over the rise of terrorism in the area, Israel also voiced "reservations" about the operation, Al Jazeera English reported.
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However, military spokesman Ahmed Mohammed Ali said Saturday that Israel partnered with Egypt in the mission, and that the Army had respected the terms of the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement, the Times of Israel reported.
"There was coordination for the use of the armed forces in the whole of the Sinai operation," Ali said. "I think that there is the understanding that the military operation in Sinai is in the interest of all."
"The operation will continue until its goals have been achieved. These are not just military goals but also developmental goals for the Sinai," he added.
The offensive was triggered by the killings of 12 Egyptian soldiers in an attack August 5 that occurred near the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, CNN reported.