CAIRO - Egypt and Israel are coordinating on Cairo's biggest security sweep in decades against militants in Sinai, in which 32 people have been killed, an army spokesman said on Saturday, the first clear statement on communication between the neighbors.

Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Ali told a news conference in Cairo that 32 "criminal elements" were killed and 38 suspects arrested, including non-Egyptians, during the operation which began on Aug. 7.

"Egypt is coordinating with the Israeli side over the presence of Egyptian armed forces in Sinai. They know this. The deployment of the armed forces on all the territory of Sinai is not a violation of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel," he said.

The sweep began after militants killed 16 border guards on Aug. 5 in the worst attack since Egypt's 1973 war with Israel.

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