Egypt’s Military: IS Leader in Sinai Killed in Shootout

Egyptian Army’s armored vehicles are seen on a highway in Ismailia, Egypt, leading to North Sinai during a launch of a major assault against terrorists,  in this file picture. (Ministry of Defense/Handout via Reuters)

Egypt’s military said Wednesday that its forces have killed a man they identified as the leader of the Islamic State group in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

Col. Tamer el-Rifai, a military spokesman, said in a Wednesday statement that Naser Abou Zaqoul has been killed in a shootout with troops in central Sinai. He did not elaborate.

The news came just days after the military said eight soldiers were killed and 15 wounded when terrorists wearing explosive belts blew themselves up as they tried to infiltrate a military base in central Sinai.

Egypt has been struggling to contain a long-running insurgency in Sinai. It launched a massive operation in February against terrorists in Sinai as well as in parts of Egypt’s Nile Delta and the Western Desert, along the porous border with Libya.