Sunday, January 19, 2014

Egyptian forces kill top militant commander in Sinai

From Times of India.

Egyptian forces kill top militant commander in Sinai

CAIRO: The top militant commander of al-Qaida linked Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad group was killed on Sunday by Egyptian forces during an operation in the Sinai peninsula.

Egyptian military spokesman Ahmed Ali announced that the commander of Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad, Ahmed Hamdan Harb Malki alias Abu Mariam, was killed during operations aimed at securing the peninsula, which borders Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

"The military was able to kill three Islamist figures, including Abu Mariam, in an exchange of fire between the militants and the army," Ali said in a statement.

Egyptian forces have stepped up crackdown on Islamists in Sinai whose attacks on the army and police rose dramatically following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July, Al-Ahram Online reported.

Mariam's group was among the most active militant groups in Sinai, alongside with other jihadist groups such as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis and Al-Furqan.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic news website, 175 members of the armed forces have been killed in terrorist attacks, with 185 militants killed during security operations.

Gas pipelines in Sinai have come under attack on several occasions over the past three years, since the downfall of longtime president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

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