The Egyptian military killed 19 Islamic State members following a shooting attack on a police checkpoint.
Air strikes in northern Sinai killed 19 members of the Islamic State’s “Sinai Province” affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, according to an Egyptian military announcement on Thursday.
The Egyptian military said the air strikes killed at least three group leaders. Although no leaders’ name were revealed, the Egyptian military said one of them was a significant member of the Sinai Province. One of the other three leaders directed the group’s shariah law committee, while the remaining leader commanded interrogations.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said on Wednesday that Egyptian security forces successfully tracked and killed the main suspect behind a shooting attack on a police checkpoint near the St Catherine’s Monastery, in an operation that left one police officer dead and three wounded. The ministry added the police found an automatic weapon, as well as ammunition after the chase.
“Security forces in South Sinai, in cooperation with Bedouin elements tracked the perpetrators’ escape route and closed roads that would be used to escape,” the Interior Ministry stated.
St. Catherine’s Monastery, a famous Eastern Orthodox Church built some 1500 years ago at the foot of the biblical Mount Sinai, is also a world heritage site of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
The Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the shooting attack, has led an insurgency operation in the Sinai Peninsula through its local affiliate in an attempt to oust President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi’s regime.
Meanwhile, the Christian population of Sinai has fled in significant numbers against the backdrop of a spike in threats from the Islamic State.
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News