Abu Anas al-Ansari - photo courtesy of Armed Forces Spokesman Facebook page
CAIRO – 2 April 2017: Several airstrikes carried out by the Egyptian Air Force in the Sinai Peninsula on March 18 resulted in the elimination of 18 suspected extremists and the injury of others, a statement by the Egyptian Army reported.
Army spokesperson Gen. Tamer al-Rifai said Sunday that Salem Salmy al-Hamdeen, known as Abu Anas al-Ansari, was killed during the raid.
Ansari, from the Sawarka tribe in Sinai, was one of the founders of jihadist extremist militant group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (ABM) and was responsible for training and arming militants. He died of his wounds after the strike.
The attacks were launched over hideouts, barracks and vehicles that allegedly used by the suspected militants in the North Sinai capital al-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid.
Saturday ABM announced the killing of Ansari in the “Martyr’s Story” section in their 74th weekly newsletter Al-Nabā. The issue included his biography, his contributions to the group and how he died.
According to the newsletter, Ansari was killed by shrapnel from a missile that fell beside him.
In March 2016, the Egyptian Army announced the elimination of 60 terrorists and the injury of 40 others after carrying out more than 100 raids with F-16 missiles.
ABM is blamed for the killing of hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police officers since pledging allegiance to the Islamic State in 2014 in exchange for financial and armed support.
The militant group emerged after the chaos following the ousting of Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak, however, its operations expanded dramatically after Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi was overthrown in July 2013.