ISIL gunmen kill Egyptian general in Sinai

Gunmen shoot dead Egyptian army officer outside his home in northern Sinai, the second general killed in two weeks.

An Egyptian soldier looks on from his position at a checkpoint in Al Arish city, the troubled northern part of the Sinai peninsula
Brigadier General Hesham Mahmoud Abualazm was shot from a moving car by ISIL gunmen in Arish city [File: Reuters]

An Egyptian general was killed by gunmen near his home in North Sinai, the military said, the second soldier of his rank to be shot dead in as many weeks.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack, in which gunmen opened fire on Brigadier-General Hesham Mahmoud Abualazm from a moving car in Arish city, North Sinai’s provincial capital.

Abualazm, 47, died instantly. He was on a visit to Arish, where he owned a house, but did not serve in the area, security sources said.

ISIL quickly claimed responsibility via its affiliated Amaq website. 

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Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed in the battle against an armed insurgency now led by ISIL in Egypt’s thinly populated Sinai peninsula. 

Attacks have been stepped up since the military overthrew president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.

A new group calling itself Louwaa al-Thawra, or the Revolution Brigade, claimed responsibility for an attack on October 22 in Cairo, in which another general was killed in the same way as Abualazm.

Another senior military officer and a soldier were killed last week in North Sinai in a roadside explosion.

Egyptian authorities said earlier on Friday that they had arrested leaders and members of Louwaa al-Thawra and another recently emerged group, the Hasam Movement, along with weapons and explosives.

Source: News Agencies