The Egyptian army have mounted a major operation against Islamic militants in North Sinai, killing or injuring at least 30 people.

Dozens of armoured vehicles backed by attack helicopters took part in the operation near Sheikh Zuweid, a few kilometres from  Gaza.

Fifteen people were detained in the operation, which targeted militants responsible for attacks on the security forces.

The operation comes two days after an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim in Cairo.

Security officials say the militants behind the suicide bombing were linked to groups in the Sinai.

Hardline groups have expanded into a security vacuum that opened up in North Sinai after the downfall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Their attacks have escalated since 3 July, when the military deposed president Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

There are almost daily assaults on the security forces and other targets in the desert peninsula bordering Israel.