The armed forces spokesman announced, in a Saturday statement, the death of Selim Soliman Al-Haram, a “State of Sinai” leader, during an exchange of fire in Sheikh Zuweid.
The statement added that the army received information on Al-Haram’s location, and accordingly, he was killed following an exchange of fire with security forces.
Ten militants were killed and seven others were arrested during a security campaign launched on Friday in the North Sinai towns of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid, according to state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.
A North Sinai resident told Daily News Egypt that there were clashes Saturday morning in east Al-Arish and south of Sheikh Zuweid. The resident added that, due to the worsening telecommunications network, nothing can be confirmed about the numbers of casualties on both sides.
Militant group “State of Sinai” continues to post propaganda photos of alleged members carrying heavy weapons during the exchange of fire with security forces in North Sinai. The clashes are ongoing as the Suez Canal launch approaches, which is scheduled to occur on 6 August.
According to another North Sinai resident, currently intensified security campaigns have set out to secure North Sinai to coincide with the opening of the Canal.
Security expert Brigadier General Khalid Okasha told Daily News Egypt that militants are expected to attempt a “terrorist act” in the next week, especially with the opening of Suez Canal approaching. However, with the high security alert in Egypt, it is unlikely that they will succeed.
Okasha said that, since the incident which occurred on 1 July targeting a range of checkpoints in separate areas across Sheikh Zuweid, “the security forces have not stopped chasing the militants for one day”.
The attack was launched and later claimed by the group later on the same day. It targeted several checkpoints, along with the Sheikh Zuweid police station, which was temporarily under siege. Security forces regained 100% control of the area, according to statements by the army spokesman.