Military spokesperson Ahmed Ali has announced that the military commander of Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad group in Sinai was killed Sunday during army operations aimed at securing the peninsula.
Egypt's armed forces in cooperation with the police have stepped up a campaign against militant Islamists in Sinai whose attacks on the army and police rose dramatically following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July.
According to Al-Ahram Arabic news website, 175 members of the armed forces have been killed in terrorist attacks, with 185 militants killed during security operations.
Ali said in a statement posted Sunday on his Facebook page that the death the military commander of Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad group — Ahmed Hamdan Harb Malki, also known as Abu Mariam — is confirmed.
In the statement, Ali also said: "The military was able to kill three Islamist figures in an exchange of fire between the militants and the army."
Attacks by Islamist militants have spilled into the capital and Nile Delta cities, with the most deadly bombing happening in Mansour in December.
Gas pipelines in Sinai have come under attack several times over the past three years, since the 2011 downfall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad is among the most active militant groups in Sinai, alongside with other jihadist groups such as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis and Al-Furqan, all of whom have claimed multiple attacks since Morsi's ouster.