CAIRO, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Egypt announced on Friday the launch of a major operation across the country to eradicate terrorism, the army said in a statement.

Egyptian troops and the police have been put on "maximum alert" ahead of a comprehensive military operation against terrorism "at all strategic fronts," said Tamer el Refai, an army spokesperson, in the statement.

The major operation will target all areas plagued by extremism to uproot terrorism, it said.

The law enforcement forces started in the morning implementing the comprehensive plan against the terrorist and criminal elements and organizations in north and central Sinai along with other desert areas in western Delta, Refai said.

He added that the operation is launched as part of the efforts to reach the three-month deadline set by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to eliminate terrorism after the mosque attack that killed more than 300 people in the northern Sinai city of Arish in November, 2017.

Meanwhile, strict security measures have been adopted near the vital institutions, national projects, religious houses, electricity and water plants, and major important tourist areas, an official security source was quoted by the state news agency MENA as saying.

Egyptian security forces have been fighting the Islamic militants, mainly in North Sinai, since the removal of former President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood by the military in 2013.

The militants have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in terror attacks in the past years, which have now spread to target civilians in the capital and other cities.