Egyptian security forces have shot dead 24 Islamic State militants in central Sinai, 70 kilometres from the crash site of a Russian airliner the group says it brought down, security sources say.
They said on Monday that security forces killed the militants as they hid inside a cave in a mountainous area and that they captured eight other militants.
A military spokesman denied the incident took place, without elaborating.
It was not immediately possible to resolve the contradiction.
Sinai Province, Islamic State’s Egypt branch, is active in North Sinai where two years ago it launched an insurgency and has since killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen.