CAIRO -- A military spokesman said that the Egyptian Army had killed nine Islamist extremists in an operation on Saturday, part of a campaign lasting weeks to quell militant activity in the lawless Sinai region.
The operation, which some news reports said involved tanks and Apache helicopters, was part of an effort to stamp out militant havens in Sinai, where reports of deadly attacks on the police and security forces have become an almost daily occurrence. Blame for the attacks, which have become more frequent, is widely placed on Islamist militants retaliating against the military ouster two months ago of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The reported death toll could not be confirmed in part because of the recent detention of one of the best-known Egyptian journalists in the area, which has discouraged other reporters and their sources from contradicting official tallies. Security forces have tried to close the area to other journalists.
The military operations followed a bombing in Cairo on Thursday that targeted the interior minister, who survived.
State news media reported over the weekend that at least one civilian had died from injuries sustained in the attack, while several other victims lost limbs. One police officer was also killed.
Official news reports on Saturday about the Sinai operation said that six military helicopters had struck weapons stores and militants' vehicles in seven villages. The army had jammed local telephone and radio communications to prevent coordination between the suspected militants, the official reports said.
But previous official statements about the accomplishments of the military campaign have been hard to verify, and local residents have sometimes contradicted them.
On Thursday, Ahmed Abu Deraa, a prominent journalist based in the Sinai region, was arrested after publicly questioning official statements about the death toll from a previous raid. Local news media reported that he was accused of spreading false information about the security operation and referred to a military court and detained pending further investigation.
Separately, Egyptian state news media reported Saturday that prosecutors had added a new charge against Mr. Morsi, the ousted president. Prosecutors have now charged Mr. Morsi, who has been detained incommunicado since Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi removed him from office on July 3, has now been charged with insulting the judiciary. New reports said the charge centered on an accusation Mr. Morsi made about the role of judges in forging election results under former President Hosni Mubarak. The charge is noteworthy because it suggests that Mr. Morsi is now being held liable for criticism of the Mubarak government -- something previously considered a badge of honor.
Mr. Morsi has already been charged with incitement to murder, in connection with at least one death after a fight between thousands of his supporters and protesters in December.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.