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Egyptian soldier and 9 gunmen killed in central Sinai

Jan. 7, 2017 6:50 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 7, 2017 6:50 P.M.)
(Photo: Egyptian army spokesperson)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- A spokesperson for the Egyptian army said Friday that Egyptian forces killed nine gunmen in the Sinai Peninsula who were allegedly affiliated to the Sinai Province group -- the local affiliate of the so-called Islamic State, after the gunmen attacked four military posts for the Egyptian air force in the cities of al-Hasana and Nakhil in central Sinai, which left an Egyptian soldier killed.

A statement released by the spokesperson said that the attackers were driving motorcycles and four-wheel drive pickup trucks. In addition to the Egyptian soldier who was killed, the gunmen allegedly injured eight other soldiers in the attacks. 

The slain Egyptian soldier was identified by sources as Mahmoud Muhammad Judah, 22, from the town of Bani Sweif in northeastern Egypt.

The spokesperson said that machine guns, RPG shells, explosives, grenades, TNT, and ammo were seized in a vehicle the attackers had used.

Anonymous Egyptian security sources identified two of the attackers to Ma'an as Jumean Jumaa Ali Salim and Abdullah Rubayyi al-Breiki from the village of Wadi Lissan in central Sinai. 

Egyptian military and police forces have been the target of ongoing attacks, which have increased since Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi took power from democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

The Egyptian president came under attack following his violent suppression of Muslim Brotherhood members following his rise to power, which Sisi has argued is necessary to deter future attacks in the Sinai and across Egypt.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the militant group responsible for a majority of attacks on military personnel, aligned with the Islamic State group in November 2014, changing its name to Sinai Province.

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