The leader of Egypt’s “Welayat Sinai” (“Province of Sinai”) militant group — which is said to have sworn allegiance to Daesh — was killed on Tuesday by a drone strike carried out by the Egyptian military in the Sinai Peninsula, according to a local security source.
The source, who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media, told Anadolu Agency that the drone strike had targeted the militant leader’s car as he drove through northeastern Sinai’s Al-Masoura area.
According to the same source, the militant leader was killed instantly while the vehicle was entirely destroyed.
A subsequent examination of the body confirmed that it belonged to Welayat Sinai leader Nagah Salaama Baraq, the source said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, however, neither the Egyptian military nor the militant group had officially acknowledged Baraq’s death.
Since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi — Egypt’s first freely-elected president — was ousted in a military coup, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed in Sinai amid an ongoing militant insurgency.
The Egyptian security forces, for their part, have continued to wage a fierce campaign — involving elements from both the police and army — against what they describe as Sinai-based “terrorist groups”.
Egypt’s army-backed authorities say they are battling Welayat Sinai, which is said to have sworn allegiance to the Daesh terrorist group.