The Egyptian army
saidtwo soldiers were killed in the Sinai
Peninsula on Friday whilethey carried out a raid that also left three Al-Qaida-linkedmilitants dead.
The army had launched the morning operation after receivinginformation that a wanted militant was hiding out in an areawest of Rafah, in North Sinai.
The two soldiers, both conscripts, died when a gunbattlebroke out after the troops came under fire, the army said in astatement. It said the operation was continuing and armedhelicopters had been deployed.
Security sources said the militants involved in thegunbattle were members of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which means"Supporters of Jerusalem".
The group claimed responsibility for a September suicidebomb attack in Cairo on the interior minister. He survivedunscathed.