EL-ARISH, Egypt — Egyptian helicopter gunships fired rockets early Tuesday at militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula, killing at least eight and injuring 15 others in an ongoing campaign to put down Islamic radicals who have escalated attacks in the largely lawless region, Egypt's official news agency said.
Egyptian troops have stepped up their crackdown on militants in the peninsula bordering Gaza and Israel, arresting suspects and destroying tunnels along the Gaza border used for smuggling weapons and people. Attacks by Islamic militants surged in Sinai after the toppling of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi in a July 3 coup.
Security officials said military helicopters targeted multiple locations along the borders with Gaza and in northern Sinai. The state news agency MENA said the strikes hit hideouts where militants were meeting in two villages, Touma and Moqataa, along with a car carrying suspects.
At least eight were killed and 15 wounded, MENA reported.