Egypt’s army killed 16 militants from the Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis jihadist group early Tuesday as it continues its operation to rein in extremists in the restive Sinai Peninsula, Aswat Masriya reported.
In offensives south of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah cities in North Sinai, army forces killed 16, injured six others and arrested four members of the group that has claimed responsibility for several attacks on army and police recently.
The group had vowed to carry out deadly attacks against security forces during the Eid holidays, coming to an end on Tuesday.
A video published on online jihadist forums on Sunday said that Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis had decapitated three people and shot a fourth for “collaborating” with Israel’s Mossad spy agency and the Egyptian army.
The group published a previous decapitation video of four others in August who they said had provided information that helped an Israeli drone strike kill three of the group’s fighters in July.
Sinai locals also found several corpses of decapitated men in September.
Fears have been raised that the group has links to extremist militants the Islamic State (IS), who have captured territory in Syria and Iraq and routinely carry out decapitations.
IS has urged Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis to continue their attacks against Egyptian security forces.
Reuters reported last week that the Egyptian army killed a top Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis field commander in the North Sinai border town of Rafah.
Militant attacks have killed hundreds of police and army personnel since August 2013. For its part, the army has routinely announced the killing or arrest of militants, mainly in the tumultuous Sinai Peninsula.
Source : Ahram online