Head of IS Sinai branch killed in Egypt’s air raids

Aug 05, 2016, 12:46 AM EDT
Sinai Province in Egypt
(Source: Day Donaldson/flickr)

Egypt’s military claimed to have killed the leader of Islamic State’s operations in the volatile Sinai Peninsula. Abu Duaa al-Ansari and 45 other fighters were killed in a series of air strikes south of the peninsula's el-Arish town. Brig-Gen Mohammed Samir said that the raids were guided by “accurate intelligence” and destroyed several arms caches in the jihadist strongholds near the town.

According to a survey by London-based Al-Araby al-Jadid news website, the IS Sinai affiliate was behind 31 attacks that took place in various areas across the peninsula within just a two-week period in March 2016, writes the BBC.

Ansari orchestrated the October 2015 attack on a Russian plane, in which about 224 people were killed in the region, notes Fox News. Islamist insurgency has seen a surge in Sinai Peninsula after President Mohamed Morsi was overthrown by the military in 2013.

Sinai Province, IS offshoot in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, is the country’s most dangerous insurgent group, with a strength of about 1,500 active members. The group, believed to have its network in Cairo, Giza and the Western Desert, seeks to convert the region into an Islamist province.