Egypt has announced the country’s highest state of alert, following the launch of a major counter-terrorism operation.
Earlier, the army said it was beginning operations in the Sinai peninsula, Nile Delta and Western Desert against Islamist militants.
It has since closed the Rafah Crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
“All security measures are beefed up around vital and important facilities, national projects, water and power plants as well as places of worship,” says the state-run MENA news agency.
Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has praised the operation.
“I am following with pride the heroism of my sons from the armed forces and the police to cleanse Egypt’s dear land of terrorist elements, the enemies of life,” he posted on his official Facebook page.