Army forces killed Silmi Mohamed Masbah, also known as Abu Khaled, on Monday afternoon, according to a statement issued by the army spokesman. Abu Khaled is one of the alleged perpetrators of the 2012 Rafah ambush which left 16 border guards dead and seven injured on 5 August 2012.
According to that statement, Abu Khaled is considered “one of the most dangerous jihadist elements and a member of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis [Supporters of Jerusalem]”.
The statement added that Abu Khaled was on his way to attack an army checkpoint, a plan of which the army had prior knowledge. He was tracked on one of the paths leading to the checkpoint riding a motorbike and in possession of a machinegun. “Army forces clashed with him and killed him,” the statement said.
A source at the army spokesman’s office said that Abu Khaled was on his way to attack the Al-Rayessa checkpoint in the outskirts of Al-Arish.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Homeland Security officer Mohamed Mabrouk and the failed assassination attempt of Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim.
The ambush began when several militants raided a border guards’ base in Rafah near the Egyptian-Israeli border, under mortar fire for cover, killing 16 soldiers and injuring seven. The Egyptian military vehicle was commandeered by the militants upon entry into Israel before they were halted by an Israeli helicopter strike which killed six of them.