Gunman kills police officer in North Sinai

Monday 25 Jul 2016

A gunman shot dead a police officer in North Sinai Sunday in an attack claimed by the Islamic State militant group, Egypt's interior ministry said Monday.

The unknown assailant opened fire on the police major in the provincial capital of El-Arish at a local police station, the ministry said in a statement.

The attack was claimed Monday by the Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State group, which has spearheaded a Sinai-based Islamist insurgency that has killed hundreds of police and army troops.

The group said in a statement online that its fighters "assassinated" the major before seizing his vehicle and automatic rifle.

The group's violence has mainly targeted security forces, but it has also occasionally attacked Egyptian Christians, judges and tourists.

On 30 June, a Coptic priest was shot dead in the Peninsula for "combating Islam" in an attack claimed by the group.

Egyptian troops have waged an extensive campaign dubbed "The Right of the Martyr" since late 2015 to crush militant in the North Sinai region, saying it has killed hundreds of fighters who had launched attacks against the state and security forces.

Last month, the army said its ground, air and naval forces had killed 22 militants in parts of North Sinai as part of the ongoing counter-terrorism operation.

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