File photo of Smoke rising during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the city of Rafah, North Sinai near the border on November 3, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian armed forces announced Thursday the killing of militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis leader Abu Doaa Al-Ansari and a number of his associates in air strikes against the group's strongholds south and south-west of Al-Arish in Sinai, the army spokesman said.
In a statement on his official Facebook page, the army spokesman announced that the operation, which was undertaken by anti-terrorist forces in cooperation with the air force, also killed 45 members of the Sinai-based group, injured dozens and destroyed weapons, ammunition and explosives storage facilities.
The group, which originated in Sinai, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and its leader, Abu Bakr El-Baghdadi, in November.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks against security personnel and installations in the restive North Sinai.
The army recently announced the killing of hundreds of the militants in a military operation entitled Martyr's Right.
A decade-long Islamist militant insurgency in the northern part of the peninsula has intensified over the past two years following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.