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Egypt forces kill top jihadist in Sinai

THE LEVANT – Egyptian soldiers killed Friday a top member of the jihadist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis who was involved in a deadly attack on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, the army said.

Shahtah Farhan al-Maatqa was killed in a raid in the town of Rafah on the border with the Gaza Strip, the army spokesman said in a statement online.

He was “a key leader of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis… and had been involved in attacks that targeted the armed forces and the police” in the Sinai Peninsula, the statement said.

On September 20, the army announced the death of another leader of the jihadist group, who was then identified as an explosives expert who was attempting with three others to plant a roadside bomb.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) is Egypt’s deadliest militant group.

The Sinai Peninsula, which also borders Israel, has seen fighting between militants and security forces after the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year.

Militants have killed scores of security personnel in retaliation for a brutal government crackdown on Morsi supporters since his ouster.

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