Egyptian general gunned down in Cairo suburb

Egyptian general gunned down in Cairo suburb

Brigadier General Adel Ragaei commanded armored division operating in Sinai against Islamic State affiliate group

Illustrative: Egyptian security forces in the Sinai, July 2013. (Mohamed El-Sherbeny/AFP)
Illustrative: Egyptian security forces in the Sinai, July 2013. (Mohamed El-Sherbeny/AFP)

A senior Egyptian army officer was shot dead outside his home in a Cairo suburb on Saturday, an army official and a relative told AFP.

Jihadists have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, mostly in the Sinai Peninsula, but such attacks on senior officers are rare.

Brigadier General Adel Ragaei, who commanded an armored division deployed in Sinai, died in a hail of bullets as he left his home in the Obour City suburb, sister-in-law Huda Zein Elabedine told AFP.

“At 6 am they killed him. I can’t tell you if it was six or twelve bullets. It was before he could get into his car,” she said.

A military official told AFP that the officer has been “martyred.”

He did not provide further details, and no group immediately claimed the shooting.

Jihadists loyal to the Islamic State group are waging a fierce insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

They have also claimed attacks in or near Cairo, including the abduction and murder of a Croatian oil worker and the bombing of the Italian consulate in 2015.

Other lesser-known groups have also conducted attacks since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and cracked down on his supporters.

One group which calls itself the Hasam Movement has claimed several attacks in or near Cairo, including the assassination of a police officer and the attempted assassination of a senior prosecutor.

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