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More than 100 government forces, militants dead after clashes in the northern Sinai

At least 117 people were killed Wednesday during fighting between Egyptian army forces and Islamist militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian state media said.

Officials say 17 government soldiers and 100 militants are among the dead. An army spokesman said that 70 militants launched simultaneous attacks on military checkpoints in the town of Sheikh Zuwayed. An Islamic State affiliate called the Sinai Province said it was behind three suicide attacks and had fought against Egyptian forces at more than 15 sites across northern Sinai, SITE Intelligence Group reports.

Officials said that Egypt's air force sent F-16 fighter jets and Apache attack helicopters to back up ground forces, who had to deal with improvised explosive devices planted along the roadways. There is no way to know for sure how many people have been killed, The Wall Street Journal reports, because the government has placed a two-year restriction on media access to the northern Sinai.