The Interior Ministry announced on Sunday that it killed a leading figure of Islamic State (IS)-affiliated group “Sinai Province” in a mutual shoot-out.
The shoot-out came in continuation of the sweeping operations conducted by the Interior Ministry to arrest the perpetrators of recent attacks carried out by “Sinai Province” against police forces in Al-Arish city,
According to a statement issued on the ministry’s Facebook page, the police forces targeted Hamdan Soliman Salem, who is a resident of Al-Arish, after gathering enough proof of his affiliation to ‘Sinai Province.’
“Received information asserted that Hamadan Soliman Salem, born in 1978 and resident in Al-Arish city in North Sinai, has been involved in the execution of a number of militant attacks that targeted army and police checkpoints. On the top of these attacks come planting improvised explosive devices and being involved in an attack against a security checkpoint in front of the Public Hospital, which resulted in the death of first lieutenant Mohamed Abdel Fattah,” the statement read.
The statement added that since the last attacke, the targeted “Sinai Province” leading figure frequently visited his residence located in Al-Arish near the city’s Fourth Police Station. The police forces got permission from the prosecution to raid the residence.
When police forces approached the residence in its operation that was kicked off on Saturday, the targeted leading figure opened fire against the forces and tried to escape. The shooting resulted in his death, according to the statement.
On Friday, the Interior Ministry broadcasted a video followed by a statement on an operation it carried out that witnessed the killing of 10 people in Al-Arish.
Those killed were reportedly perpetrators who conducted two deadly militant attacks targeting police checkpoints in Al-Arish. Those attacks had left eight security personnel and one civilian dead.
The Interior Ministry’s statement stipulated that security apparatuses received information on the involvement of a leading figure in “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis”, known currently as “Sinai Province”, in the attacks. The leading figure, named Ahmed Youssef, helps with the preparation and formation of several militant groups to target police and army checkpoints, according to the statement.
These militant groups are responsible for carrying out several attacks, in addition to the assassination of deputy officer of El-Qassima police station in central Sinai and the assassination of a police officer in Al-Arish.