Selim Suleiman al Haram, a leading member of the Egyptian ISIS-affiliated militant group, Ansar Beit al Maqdis, was killed by Egyptian armed forces in a shootout just outside his North Sinai house, the army spokesman said in a statement on Saturday.
Al Haram was ordered to surrender to the Egyptian authorities by a group of soldiers that surrounded his house in the town of Sheikh Zuweid, the army said.
After refusing, he opened fire on the soldiers and attempted to blow himself up before being shot, the army stated.
Egypt has been battling an armed insurgency in Sinai that has killed hundreds of police officers and soldiers since the country’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi was deposed in a military coup in July 2013, which has left hundreds of police and army officials killed.
Morsi was forced to step down after a military coup, followed by a crackdown on his supporters, including the bloody dispersal of sit-in protests at Cairo’s Rabia and Nahda Squares which saw around 900 Muslim Brotherhood supporters killed.
Ansar Beit al Maqdis claimed responsibility last week for a bombing that the army claimed killed four soldiers near Rafah, a town on the borderline between Egypt and the Gaza strip.
The group also claimed responsibility earlier this month for a rocket attack on an Egyptian naval vessel docked at a small port on Sinai’s Mediterranean coast, less than a week after claiming a bombing in Cairo that destroyed the Italian consulate.