Cairo-The Egyptian army spokesman, Mohammed Samir, announced on Thursday that the leader of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was killed in North Sinai in a security operation that also left more than 45 “terrorists” dead and dozens injured.
Jihadists from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, who pledged allegiance to ISIS and changed the group’s name to Sinai Province in November 2014, have spearheaded an insurgency against the army and police with daily attacks in North Sinai.
The military, in cooperation with security forces, has conducted several campaigns to crush insurgents and cut off their arms supplies. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi also issued a presidential decree in July extending the state of emergency in several Sinai regions for three months.
The military spokesman said on his Facebook page on Thursday that a series of air strikes targeted Ansar Beit al-Maqdis positions south and southwest of Arish, the largest town on the Sinai Peninsula.
Military forces “were able to kill the leader of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the terrorist called Abu Doaa al-Ansari, and a number of his top aides in addition to more than 45 terrorist elements,” said the spokesman.
“This successful operation confirms the pledges of the armed forces to avenge their martyrs and … pursue all the terrorist elements and leaders wherever they are found until Egypt and its great people enjoy security and stability,” the military added.