Top leader in Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate killed, military says

CAIRO, Aug. 4 (UPI) — The leader of the Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula was killed by a military airstrike ordered by the Egyptian government, officials said Thursday.

Egypt’s armed forces said Abu Duaa al-Ansari and dozens of followers of the militant group Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, were killed in a series of strikes aimed at insurgent strongholds near El-Arish this week.

“The raids left more than 45 terrorists killed, dozens of others injured and several arms caches destroyed,” Egypt’s military said Thursday.

Al-Ansari, also known by the name Abu Doaa al-Ansary, was the leader of Sinai Province, the group’s official moniker.

The Sinai Province and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s regime have been fighting in Egypt for three years, since the removal of former President Mohammed Morsi from power, and attacks on both sides have been commonplace.

The terror group has gained prominence in recent years. It claimed responsibility for the shootdown of a Russian jetliner in October, which killed 224 people after it departed from the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

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