Egyptian army says senior IS cleric killed in Sinai

CAIRO — The Egyptian military says Thursday it killed a senior Islamic State cleric and 18 jihadists in airstrikes in the Sinai Peninsula where the extremists are waging an insurgency.

The announcement comes after the jihadists claim a series of attacks, including a shooting near a monastery this week and twin church bombings on April 9 that killed dozens.

Among the jihadists killed is “one of the prominent leaders of the so-called Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the head of the religious affairs committee in the group,” the military says, without saying when the strikes occurred.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was the name used by the jihadists in the Sinai before they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in November 2014 and began calling themselves IS’s Sinai Province.

— AFP

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