First Published: 2017-04-20

Egyptian army says senior IS cleric killed in Sinai
Army says air strikes in Sinai Peninsula kill 18 jihadists, including ‘prominent’ head of religious affairs committee of group loyal to IS.
Middle East Online

IS claims series of recent attacks on Egypt

CAIRO - The Egyptian military said Thursday it killed a senior Islamic State group cleric and 18 jihadists in air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula where the extremists are waging an insurgency.

The announcement came after the jihadists claimed a series of attacks, including a shooting near a monastery this week and twin church bombings on April 9 that killed dozens.

Among the jihadists killed was "one of the prominent leaders of the so-called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the head of the religious affairs committee in the group," the military said, without saying when the strikes occurred.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was the name used by the jihadists in the Sinai before they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in November 2014.

The jihadists have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The military has killed several of their top leaders, but the extremists have increasingly expanded their attacks from the Sinai to other parts of Egypt, especially against Christians.

The April 9 church bombings in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria followed a December suicide bombing in a Cairo church that killed 29 people, also claimed by IS.

On Wednesday, the interior ministry said security forces killed a gunman suspected of killing a policeman and wounding three others near St Catherine's monastery in south Sinai the day before.

IS, which claimed the shooting, has threatened more attacks on Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of more than 90 million people.

 

Macron, Le Pen gird for final French election duel

US fires opening shots in confrontation with Iran

Israel kills three in attack on pro-regime Syria camp

Iran's historically unpredictable elections

LafargeHolcim CEO stepping down over Syria probe

Erdogan accuses researcher of 'inciting assassination'

Mattis sees Saudi Arabia ‘helping across the region’

Sirens, silence as Israel remembers Holocaust

Houthis intensify crackdown on dissent in Yemen

Italian reporter released in Turkey

Algiers summons Morocco envoy over Syrian migrant row

Iran reverses decision to ban live presidential debates

Six Israelis including two soldiers held for anti-Arab attacks

Economists, rights advocates concerned over Egypt’s state of emergency

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits strategic Djibouti

Qatari hunters ecstatic at release from Iraqi kidnappers

Prosecutor says charities colluding with migrant traffickers

France votes under heavy security

Iran's Ahmadinejad won't endorse other candidates

Rocky days ahead after Turkey referendum

Huge Shiite crowd throngs Baghdad shrine

Rabat accuses Algiers of expelling 55 migrants across border

Morocco, US take part in joint military exercise

US defence secretary visits key ally Qatar

Lebanese activists ramp up campaign against rape law

Saudis among kidnapped hunters freed in Iraq

Trial in Tunisia beach massacre set to begin April 26

Tunisia hotel attacked by jihadists sees hope in 'rebirth'

IS claims deadly attack on FSB office in Russia

Spate of attacks shows weakening of Islamic State

Mediterranean migrant death toll tops 1,000 in 2017

Iraq forces free 11-year-old Yazidi girl in Mosul

Kuwaiti opposition leader freed from prison

Kidnapped Qataris freed in Iraq, Syria evacuations resume

Turkey opposition to appeal referendum at top court

Fears engulf French election after Paris shooting

An Iraqi family's Colombian odyssey

US defence chief in Israel for talks on Iran, Syria

Morocco arrests scandal-hit Ferrari driving 'rich kid'

Syria evacuees on move again after being blocked for 48 hours

French policeman killed in IS attack in Paris

Trump: Iran not 'living up to spirit' of nuclear deal

Ahmadinejad barred from running in election

US urges UN council to focus on 'incredibly destructive' Iran

Iran bans live election debates