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Egypt air strike kills Daesh head of Sinai — army

By AFP - Aug 04,2016 - Last updated at Aug 04,2016

CAIRO — An Egyptian air strike killed the head of the Daesh terror group in the Sinai Peninsula along with top aides and dozens of other extremists, the army said on Thursday.

Abu Doaa Al Ansari was among more than 45 militants killed in the operation carried out by the air force and the anti-terrorism squad, said a statement posted on the army spokesman's Facebook page.

Since Egypt's military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, militants have stepped up attacks on the army and police with near daily attacks in North Sinai.

Most of the attacks that have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers have been claimed by "The Sinai Province", the Egyptian branch of Daesh.

The army spokesman did not specify when the operation was carried out.

But the statement posted on his website said 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".

Ansar Beit Al Maqdis was the previous name of the extremists before they swore allegiance to Daesh in November 2014.

The statement said dozens of others were "targeted with precise hits" in the joint operation against strongholds of the group south and southwest of the Sinai city of El Arish.

The operation destroyed depots where weapons, ammunition and explosives were stashed, it said.

The Sinai Peninsula borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

El Arish is the provincial capital of North Sinai where the extremists are active.

Despite the a massive military campaign to uproot Daesh from Sinai, the militants have kept up the attacks with roadside bombs and ambushes in the eastern peninsula.

Most of the group's attacks have targeted security forces but they have also attacked Egyptian Christians and tourists.

 

The group claimed responsibility for bombing a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from an Egyptian resort last year, killing all 224 people on board.

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