Egypt says 5 Ansar Jerusalem fighters killed in clashes north of Cairo

Egyptian security forces today engaged in a lengthy shootout with Islamist militants in al Qanatir al Khayriyah, approximately 20 miles north of Cairo. According to Egypt’s Interior Ministry, those targeted were members of Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis).

Five of members of the jihadist group were killed and four others arrested, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. At least two security personnel were also killed in the shootout, which saw the militants use firearms as well as explosive belts, among other weaponry.

The Interior Ministry’s statement did not specify the names of the jihadists captured or killed, but said they had been involved in a number of recent attacks in the Cairo area, including the March 15 killing of six army officers at a checkpoint. That attack has yet to be claimed.

According to the Interior Ministry, the Ansar Jerusalem members had also been linked to the January Cairo Security Directorate bombing as well as the assassination of General Mohamed Saeed, an aide to Egypt’s Interior Minister.

Ansar Jerusalem has yet to comment on today’s events.

On March 10, Egypt’s Interior Ministry announced the arrest of Mohammed Durri Ahmad al Taliawi, who it said was involved in the January Cairo Security Directorate bombing. The following day, the ministry said security forces had killed Mohamed al Sayed Mansour al Toukhi, a key suspect in the Cairo Security Directorate attack.

While Ansar Jerusalem has yet to comment on the arrest of al Taliawi, on March 15 the group confirmed that al Toukhi was indeed one of its members and had died in a clash with Egyptian security personnel.

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