Egypt Kills Prominent ISIS Leader in Restive Sinai Region

An Interior Ministry statement said militant leader Ghandur Al-Masri was killed in a firefight with Egyptian security forces

File photo: An image by Islamic State Group in Sinai shows a deadly attack by militants on an Egyptian police checkpoint in el-Arish, north Sinai, Egypt, Jan. 11, 2017.
File photo: An image by Islamic State Group in Sinai shows a deadly attack by militants on an Egyptian police checkpoint in el-Arish, north Sinai, Egypt, Jan. 11, 2017. Uncredited/AP

Egyptian security forces killed a prominent Islamic State militant on Tuesday suspected of being involved in recent attacks in North Sinai, an Interior Ministry statement said. 

Egypt faces an Islamist insurgency led by the Islamic State group in the Sinai Peninsula, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013. 

The statement said security forces conducted a raid on a building under construction in Arish, a city in North Sinai, where militants had set up a base of operations. 

An ensuing firefight led to the death of one of the group's leaders, Ahmed Hassan Ahmed Al-Nashu, who is known as Ghandur Al-Masri, and the escape of another, the statement said. 

It said Masri was responsible for carrying out several operations and recruiting new members for Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based group which pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014. 

The Interior Ministry said earlier in the day that police had killed two prominent members of the Hasm Movement, which has claimed several attacks in Cairo over the past year, during a firefight in a suburb on the outskirts of the capital. 

Egypt this month saw one of the worst attacks on its security forces in years when 23 soldiers were killed after two suicide car bombs were detonated in North Sinai.