Egypt says key Sinai insurgency leader killed by troops

CAIRO, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A leader of an Islamist militant group in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula was killed in a gun battle with government forces, the army said Sunday.

The army's chief spokesman said in a written statement that Abu Mariam was one of three or four Islamist killed in the clash, which occurred amid a government campaign to snuff out guerrilla attacks in the region.


Abu Mariam was the reputed military commander of the Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad group, which Ahram Online described as one of the most-active insurgent groups in Sinai.

Insurgent violence in Sinai heated up during the summer when President Mohamed Morsi was removed from office by the military. The surge has claimed the lives of 175 Egyptian soldiers and 185 militants, Ahram Online said.

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