An Egyptian security official told the Associated Press that the Egyptian army and police have arrested nine terrorists linked to Sinai attacks in northern Sinai, during an anti-terrorist operation which was carried out by the Egyptian army and police forces on the Sinai Peninsula.
"The troops stormed a house in Sheik Zweid, close to Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip, and caught the nine while they were asleep," the AP reported, according to a senior military official in Sinai.
The source also said that among the nine was Selmi Zeyoud, whom the official described as a "dangerous element" and a brother to a slain jihadist who was killed by Israeli forces during the operation last Sunday.
However, MENA news agency and Reuters reported that according to another military official, six terrorists were arrested in the Egyptian Sinai.
"The six men were known to be fundamentalists and they were suspected of belonging to a jihadist group," the official said.
On Thursday night, unknown assailants shot at a checkpoint near the town of Al-Arish, causing no injuries, according to security sources.
"Clashes resumed between armed men and police forces in front of police station number two in al-Arish," Nile News television reported, citing its correspondent there.
According to Egyptian TV report on Friday morning, around 60 terrorists have been killed so far in clashes with Egyptian forces in Sinai.
Meanwhile, Egypt opened the Rafah border on Friday to allow the return of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia and those stranded on their way back to Gaza, the state news agency Mena said, citing a high-ranking official, without saying how long it would stay open. The crossing had been closed since the attack on Sunday.
Moreover, Egypt has moved to seal myriad smuggling tunnels connecting Sinai and the Gaza Strip since Sunday's attack. The Egyptian state newspaper al-Ahram said on Friday some 150 tunnels had been destroyed. There are believed to be about 1,000 such tunnels.
"We want this crossing to remain open for goods and for people. When this happens there will be no need for tunnels," senior Hamas official Ahmer Bahar told worshipers at a Gaza mosque on Friday.
"Tunnels were an exceptional measure. When we have a free trade corridor, this issue will come to an end," he said.
Tunnelers on the Egyptian side said Egyptian forces were not closing tunnels that were previously known to them and used to bring food and construction materials to Gaza.