Police forces announced on Friday the killing of an alleged militant named Mohamed Abdo, a 33-year-old carpenter from the city of Al-Basartah in Damietta. According to a ministry statement, the militant headed the military wing in Hasm group.
Abdo was accused of killing a lower ranking police officer, named Massoud Al-Amir, in Damietta last month.
According to the official statement, police forces gathered intelligence to arrest Abdo and plan to ambush him in a checkpoint.
“Upon trying to arrest him while he was on his motorbike, he fired at the forces, who exchanged fire, resulting in his death,” the statement said.
Police say that Abdo was wanted in 14 militancy related cases, one of which included killing a civilian in March. At the time, the group accused the victim of collaborating with security forces to arrest protesters. The ministry added that the den where Abdo allegedly used to hide was raided and included various ammunitions, a camera, flash memories, and SIM cards.
On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) said that it refused the official narrative and claimed that the raid was an assassination. Several minor human rights groups, which are affiliated with the MB, condemned the killing of Abdo and said that the act was an act of “extrajudicial killing”.
Al-Shehab Center for Human Rights called upon the Egyptian prosecution to investigate the operation in which Abdo was killed.
The Hasm movement appeared a few months back in 2016. In August, the group said it was behind the failed assassination attempt of former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.
In October of the same year, the group claimed responsibility for an attempt to assassinate assistant General Prosecutor Zakareya Abdel Aziz in New Cairo. The attack, executed by a car bomb, left one civilian injured, while Abdel Aziz survived the attempt.
Moreover, the group claimed responsibility in December for a bombing in Giza that claimed the lives of six police personnel and injured three others.
In October 2016, supreme army leader Adel Ragaai was in front of his residence located in Al-Obour City, where militants driving a black private vehicle opened fire on him. Two bullets pierced his head, according to army sources, who spoke to Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity.
Ragaai’s assassination is considered critical, as it was the first time such an operation took place inside Cairo, far from North Sinai, where ongoing military confrontations are rising between the army and “Sinai Province”.
A group called “Lewaa El Thawra” claimed responsibility for the operation, according to a statement it released directly after the attack.
Although the militant insurgency has been predominantly active in North Sinai, militant attacks targeting public facilities, as well as police and army facilities and personnel, have spilled out of the restive peninsula, often in the form of drive-by shootings and IED attacks.