IS leader in Sinai 'killed in airstrike'
Published 04/08/2016 | 22:16
The leader of the Islamic State's Sinai branch has been killed in an airstrike on a house, according to military officials.
Abu Doaa al-Ansari died in an operation south of the coastal city of el-Arish in north Sinai, according to a posting on the Facebook page of the Egyptian military's chief spokesman, Brigadier-General Mohammed Samir.
It said the operation was carried out by counter terrorism forces backed by war planes and guided by "accurate intelligence".
Military officials said al-Ansari was killed in an airstrike that targeted a house located amid olive groves south of el-Arish.
Aerial images of the strike released by the military appeared to confirm the account given by the officials.
According to the Egyptian military officials, the airstrike that killed al-Ansari was part of an ongoing, intense air campaign that began more than a week ago and in which jet-fighters, helicopter gunships and drones are being used. Up to 45 of al-Ansari's aides are believed to died in those airstrikes.
The campaign of airstrikes was in response to the growing threat to ground troops posed by roadside bombs planted by the militants, they said.
The officials also suggested that 45 who were mentioned in the military spokesman's statement as slain alongside al-Ansari, may have perished in a series of airstrikes earlier this week that targeted IS positions and ammunition depots near the border town of Rafah.