CAIRO: Twenty “takfiris” were killed and seven suspected extremists were arrested in a wide-scale security campaign in North Sinai Saturday, MENA reported, while a senior leader of Sinai Province militant group was killed in his home in Sheikh Zuwayed hours earlier.
Selim Suleiman al-Haram was killed after security forces demanded he surrenders, but he fired at them and attempted to detonate his explosive belt, according to a Saturday statement by military spokesperson Mohamed Samir.
Intelligence information detected Haram’s whereabouts. He was identified as a main leader of Sinai Province militant group. Two machine guns, a grenade, an explosive belt, a radio and other ammunition were found in Haram’s possession, according to Samir.
In an intensified campaign ahead of the inauguration of the New Suez Canal this week, 20 alleged extremists were killed south of Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah towns, while two vehicles and four motorbikes with no plates, suspected to be used in attacks, were destroyed, security sources told MENA.
Seven people are in custody and being interrogated for any implication in militancy, the sources said.
Three other vehicles, suspected to belong to extremists, are being checked. Eight vehicles loaded with unlicensed gas cylinders and three others loaded with fertilizers have been seized, as the materials may have been used in manufacturing explosives, the sources added.