At least 14 armed men died Sunday morning in an operation staged by Egyptian security forces in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, an officer with the Egyptian military told Efe.

The fighters were killed during an operation launched by the authorities in the Sheikh Zueid zone, where a gun battle broke out between security forces and the group.

Egyptian armed forces spokesman Col. Ahmed Ali said Sunday that the army operations resulted in 25 terrorists being killed or wounded, although he did not specify the number of people who died.

Ali said that security forces destroyed a stockpile of weapons and ammunition that extremists had been using in attacks on soldiers and police in the zone.

He also said that the armed forces will continue to pursue the terrorist groups until security and stability are completely established in the northern Sinai.

The latest operations came after Egypt on Saturday said it had launched the attack the day before that resulted in the deaths of four alleged extremists in the Sinai and the radical group to which they belonged blamed the strike on an Israeli drone.

In a communique released Saturday night, Ali insisted that "it is completely incorrect" to say that an Israeli attack had occurred on Egyptian territory and he denied that any cooperation had occurred between the two countries in the operation.

In recent months, the Sinai Peninsula has become a focus of instability and the site of attacks against the security forces and gas pipelines, as well as an area rife with smuggling and kidnappings.

The Egyptian army said last Wednesday that it killed 60 alleged extremists in military operations undertaken with police against armed organizations in the Sinai.

Those actions by the security forces began on June 30, coinciding with the huge protests against then-President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist, who was deposed in a military coup on July 3. EFE