Cairo: Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi on Thursday lashed out at detractors of security forces, saying they commit “high treason”.

Last month, the Egyptian army started a large-scale campaign against Islamist militants nationwide mainly in Sinai and the Western Desert that borders troubled Libya.

“I will not allow any insult to the army and police as long as I exist,” Al Sissi, an ex-army general, said in televised remarks.

“Insulting the army and the police is high treason, which will be confronted by law,” he added at a ceremony in the Western Desert town of New Alamein.

“The media and people must be allowed to go to Sinai in order to see for themselves how Egypt’s sons die for us so that the country can live in peace and safety.”

Egypt has seen a spate of deadly militant attacks, mainly in Sinai, targeting security forces. In recent months, Egypt has reported success in curbing violent militancy.

“Defaming the army and police is not part of freedom of speech,” Al Sissi said on Thursday. His remarks come a few weeks before Egypt’s presidential elections in which he is a hot favourite.

On Wednesday, the country’s chief prosecutor vowed legal action against social media spreading false news.

Last month, two opposition politicians were arrested and charged with spreading false news harmful of national interests in media interviews.