Military forces from Egypt’s Third Field Army said Wednesday they killed the leader of Sinai Province — an Islamic State-affiliated group.
Officials said militant leader Naser Abu Zakoul was killed in an exchange of gunfire in central Sinai, according to a statement by Egyptian army spokesperson Tamer al-Refaei.
The Third Field Army’s operation was part of the Egyptian Armed Forces’ comprehensive “Sinai 2018” operation, which began in February. It targeted terrorist hotbeds in the peninsula, parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert.
After one month of the operation, Egyptian officials said 105 militants had been killed.
Zakoul, once a shepherd in Sinai, was recruited by militants and gradually became a prominent radical. He participated in the 2006 Dahab bombings and the Sharm el-Sheikh attack in 2005, which killed 88 people.
By Susan McFarland