Two Egyptian soldiers killed in hunt for militant leader
December 21, 2013 - 5:42:32 am
CAIRO: Two Egyptian soldiers were shot dead yesterday trying to arrest a leader of an Al Qaeda inspired group spearheading an insurgency in the Sinai, the military said.
Elsewhere, police arrested 85 Islamist protesters as they dispersed rallies demanding the reinstatement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, the interior ministry said. The country is still reeling from near daily protests as well as militant attacks in the Sinai peninsula following the military’s overthrow of Mursi in July.
The two soldiers were killed as they came under fire during an operation to arrest Shadi al-Menei, reportedly the leader of Ansar Beit Al Maqdis, the military spokesman said.
The group, inspired by Al Qaeda, has claimed some of the deadliest attacks in an insurgency in Sinai that has killed dozens of soldiers and policemen.
Three “terrorists” were killed in the gunfight, said Colonel Ahmed Ali in a statement, adding that helicopters were “currently dealing with the targets.”
Based in the sparsely populated and desert north of the peninsula, which borders Gaza and Israel, the militants have pressed their attacks despite a massive army deployment.AFP