Egypt's army has shot dead an alleged Islamist militant suspect, wanted for a 2012 terror attack in the restive Sinai Peninsula that left 16 soldiers killed, an army spokesman said Tuesday.
Spokesman for the Egyptian Armed Forces Ahmed Ali announced on his official Facebook page that a raid launched Monday killed Selmi Mohamed "Abou Khaled" Mosbeh, described as a leading Jihadist and member of the Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis (supporters of Jerusalem) militant group.
Abou Khaled, among others, allegedly planned to attack a military checkpoint in north Sinai's Rafah when the army initiated an exchange of gunfire leading to his death and the arrest of 20 other suspected militants as well as the confiscation of a stock of ammunition.
The alleged suspect was wanted for an attack carried out on the Egyptian border with Gaza during the one-year-rule of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, which left 16 Egyptian soldiers killed, said the army spokesman.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis have claimed responsibility for a number of terror attacks, including one on a military intelligence building in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia where at least six were wounded after a car bomb detonated. Another was a failed assassination attempt on Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim in September.
Following Morsi's ouster in July, the Sinai Peninsula has seen a surge of militant attacks that have recently begun to target Cairo and other provinces. The military, in retaliation, have launched and continue to sustain a wide-range offensive targeting suspected Islamist militants.