Cairo, May 7 (AP) Egypt’s chief prosecutor has referred 555 terror suspects to a military court on charges of joining a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.Also Read - Two 2,500-Year-Old Tombs Uncovered in Egypt, Human Remains With Gold Tongues Found

Today’s statement by the prosecutor says the suspects formed dozens of small militant cells and carried out 63 attacks against army and police forces in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. Also Read - Cairo Archaeologists Discover Interior of Ancient Tomb at Egypt's Saqqara Necropolis

It says only 216 of the 555 suspects are in custody. Also Read - Man Waits For 6 Months After Swallowing Phone, Undergoes Surgery After Experiencing Pain

Egypt has been battling Islamic militants for years, but the insurgency gathered steam and grew deadlier after the 2013 ouster by the military of Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist president whose year in office proved divisive.

In February, authorities launched a wide-scale operation in Sinai, the Nile Delta and the Western Desert to target “terrorist and criminal elements and organizations.” (AP) CPS CPS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.