Egyptian forces kill ‘Sheikh of the Takfiris’ in North Sinai operation

Mohammed Hussein Muhareb (aka Abu Munir).jpg

Mohammed Hussein Muhareb (Abu Mounir). Image from Egyptian Army Spokesman.

Egyptian security forces operating in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid killed Mohammed Hussein Muhareb (also known as Abu Mounir), his son, and a third Islamist militant this morning. Abu Mounir, 62, was wanted in connection with a number of recent attacks in the Sinai, including the Aug. 19 execution of more than 20 Egyptian policemen, according to press reports.

Four other Islamist militants were arrested during today’s operation, army spokesman Ahmed Ali wrote on his Facebook page. Other militants involved in the clashes “fled in another car after the fighting,” the Associated Press stated.

According to the Telegraph, Abu Mounir, known as the “Sheikh of the Takfiris,” was linked to Takfir wal Hijra as well as Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis). Officials told AFP that Abu Mounir, a member of the Sawarka tribe, had issued a fatwa “justifying attacks on the security forces.”

A security source told al Masry al Youm that the death of Abu Mounir is a blow to the terrorists operating in the Sinai. Yesterday, Army Chief General Abdel Fattah el Sisi said there should be “no more mercy or hesitation for those who raise arms against the military.”

In late August, Egyptian authorities had announced the arrest of Adel Mohammed Ibrahim (also known as Adel Habara) and two associates, who were also wanted in connection with the Aug. 19 attack.

Last week, a car bombing attack in North Sinai killed at least 11 Egyptian security personnel and wounded more than 35.

Since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi on July 3, there have been at least 253 reported attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, most of which were carried out against Egyptian security forces and assets, according to data maintained by The Long War Journal. Since July, the number of attacks has declined each month. But November, which has already seen 29 attacks, is currently on pace to surpass October’s total.

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