Thu Aug 4, 2016 5:35PM
An Egyptian jet in Cairo (file photo)
An Egyptian jet in Cairo (file photo)

The Egyptian military says it has killed the leader of the Daesh Takfiri group operating in a restive Sinai region northeast of the country.

The military said in statement Thursday that Abu Duaa al-Ansari was killed during an operation in the Sinai Peninsula.

The statement identified Ansari as the leader of the Sinai branch of Daesh, saying he was killed in a series of air strikes near the town of Arish.

Reports said at least 45 other Daesh militants were killed in the air strikes while arms and ammunition stores used by Daesh were also destroyed.

The Takfiri Velayat Sinai terror group, Daesh's offshoot in northeastern Egypt, has yet to confirm the killing of Ansari.

Previously known as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, the terrorist outfit has pledged allegiance to Takfirs in Iraq and Syria.

In October 2014, a state of emergency was declared across the whole Sinai Peninsula following a deadly terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 33 soldiers.

The military launched a high-scale security operation in Sinai in September 2015 following coordinated terrorist attacks on several army checkpoints that claimed the lives of 21 soldiers.

Hundreds of troops and militants have been killed ever since as Egypt struggles to contain the insurgency. At least two Egyptian police forces were killed Monday in a deadly roadside bomb explosion in the restive region.