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Bedouin tribe abducts Bayt al-Maqdis leader in northern Sinai

May 2, 2015 12:25 P.M. (Updated: May 2, 2015 5:20 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) – Gunmen of a Bedouin tribe abducted a top leader of the Bayt al-Maqdis militant group in Egypt's Rafah city in the northern Sinaion Friday, Egyptian security sources told Ma'an.

Speaking to Ma'an on condition of anonymity, the security sources identified the abducted leader as Haytham al-Munei, a brother of the Bayt al-Maqdis commander in Rafah, Shadi al-Munei.

The abduction, they said, had been carried out in retaliation to the beheading of a young man from the tribe who Bayt al-Maqdis had accused of collaborating with the Egyptian army.

The body of Abdul-Karim Suleiman al-Munei, 35, was found on Friday near a mosque in Rafah, eight days after he was abducted by gunmen affiliated to Bayt al-Maqdis, the sources added.

Bayt al-Maqdis has been pitched in a bloody struggle against the Egyptian regime since the overthrow of Egypt's first democratically elected president Muhammad Morsi in July 2013.

The group has killed scores of Egyptian policemen and soldiers since then, and they laid claim to a deadly attack in October last year that killed 30 Egyptian military and police personnel.

Many members of the militant group have pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, in what analysts have said is a bid to boost recruitment.

Local sources said that Bedouin tribes in the northern Sinai are on full alert following Friday's abduction.

Separately, Egyptian security sources said that on Thursday and Friday the Egyptian army had stormed Bala farms in Rafah, killing seven militant gunmen.
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