Army says two Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis leaders killed in Sinai

Ahram Online, Tuesday 4 Nov 2014

Egyptian army continues anti-insurgency operations in the Sinai Peninsula with raids in Al-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid

Smoke rises after a house is blown up during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with southern Gaza Strip November 3, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Two leading members of militant group Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis have been killed in army raids in North Sinai, Al-Ahram daily reported on Tuesday.

Forces from the Second Field Army, in coordination with the interior ministry and other military units, raided a number of sites on Monday, killing two and arresting 12.

Those arrested reportedly provided information about the perpetrators of twin attacks in North Sinai on 24 October that killed at least 32 members of the security forces.

A military source said more details would be announced "at the right time."   

Security forces targeted sites in Al-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai.  

Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks on security forces in Sinai in recent months.

Meanwhile, the army continues to destroy homes on the Rafah-Gaza border as it embarks on creating a buffer zone in the area to combat militants. 

Military engineers have concluded destroying all houses and buildings in Bawabet Salah El-Sin and Al-Barahma after evacuating its residents.

Over 1,100 families, living in 802 buildings, have been evicted over the past week. The government has announced it will offer prompt compensation to the displaced families.

Some residents have voiced criticisms to Ahram Online over the short eviction notice announced by the army and the fact that many evacuees will be economically impacted by the move, as they depend on local daily work for a living.

The government declared a three-month state of emergency in areas of North Sinai following the attack on 24 October, in addition to a daily curfew.

The Egyptian army has been facing a decade-long jihadist militant insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, with militant attacks increasing over the past year and expanding into Cairo and the Nile Delta, killing hundreds of army and police personnel. Civilians have also been caught up in the violence.

The army has announced the killing and arrest of hundreds of suspected jihadist militants in the restive peninsula.

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