Security forces killed five alleged militants of the ‘State of Sinai’ militant group, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the Ministry of Interior said in a press release. The security raid took place in a farm in Sharqeya governorate on Sunday.
Earlier investigations and coordination between different security bodies, including national security officers, central forces and the Sharqeya Security Directorate, led authorities to the farm. It had been turned, by suspects, into an ‘operation camp’, into store weapons and prepare explosives, according to the ministry statement.
The ministry added that during the armed clashes a special agent from the Central Security Forces was injured. The forces’ seized weapons from the farm included automatic rifles, explosive belts, chemicals, and different explosives.
The ministry identified three of the deceased: Abdel Fatah Ayed Morzaq Salman, who was wanted for alleged ties to Mohamed Al-Zawahiri, the brother of Al-Qaeda’s top leader; and Faisal Hamdeen Salman Saad and Moaaz Ibrahim, who were wanted for several terrorist attacks. These included an attack on a checkpoint in Egypt’s Western Desert region last July, which killed at least 22 border guards.
The military spokesperson Brigadier General Mohamed Samir said that in that attack, some 20 armed men on vehicles surrounded the checkpoint and attacked it with automatic weapons, hand grenades, and rocket propelled grenades.
‘State of Sinai’, at the time still operating under the name of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for the attacks, in August. In November, the group claimed the 24 October North Sinai attacks, which killed at least 30 soldiers. In a graphic video documenting the attack, the group also pledged allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) and its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.