Egyptian soldier killed in gunbattle with militants in Sinai

Friday 20-12-2013 04:56 PM
Egyptian soldier killed in gunbattle with militants in Sinai

A security checkpoint in Rafah on the borders, August 2012 - Reuters


ISMAILIA, Egypt, Dec 20 (Reuters) - An Egyptian soldier was shot dead in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday while the army was conducting a raid to arrest al Qaeda-linked militants, security sources said.

The soldier, a conscript, died when a gunbattle broke out between the army and members of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, meaning "Supporters of Jerusalem", during the operation in an area south of Rafah, in North Sinai.

Attacks on soldiers and policemen in the Sinai, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, have become commonplace since the Egyptian army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July in the face of mass unrest over his rule.

Two of the group's fighters were arrested in the raid, the sources said. Eight other soldiers, including an officer, were wounded in the fighting.

The group claimed responsibility for a September suicide bomb attack in Cairo targeting the interior minister. He survived unscathed.

(Reporting By Yousri Mohamed; Writing by Maggie Fick Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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