Egypt's presidential spokesman Bassam Rady affirmed in press statements on Sunday that the current "Sinai 2018" comprehensive military operation is a more sophistocated and extensive successor to a previous series of operations dubbed "Martyrs' Right", the first phase of which was launched in 2015 as part of Egypt's wider war on terror.
Apart from Sinai, the Egyptian army said the operation would also cover parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert, where other militants have waged attacks, some believed to be staged out of neighbouring Libya.
Authorizing troops to use "all brute force" necessary to restore "security and stability" to the region within three months, suspicion for that attack fell on an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) group in Sinai.
It also discovered and destroyed an explosives-making laboratory and a communications centre, as well as six cannabis and opium fields, he said. The mission, announced Friday, is meant to target "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" across Egypt.
On Friday, the Egyptian army launched a large-scale military operation aimed to eliminate terrorism in Egypt's troubled Sinai region.
Egypt denied this, and Israel declined to comment.
The Sinai peninsula, where Egypt's most active militants are based, borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Egypt's security forces have been increasingly targeted by extremists since the army in 2013 overthrew Mr El Sisi's predecessor, president Mohammed Morsi.
And last September Sissi met Netanyahu for the first time in public, the encounter coming ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in NY.
After a number of military offensives, the group is thought to have been weakened and switched from attacks on the military to softer targets such as mosques and Coptic Christian churches.
On the ground, special forces, working with police, conducted raids inside cities in Sinai to seize militants, military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said.