Egyptian security forces on Tuesday killed four fighters from the country’s deadliest militant group on the Sinai Peninsula, where troops regularly battle jihadists, officials said.
The four jihadists from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) were killed when the car they were travelling in was struck by artillery fire south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid, the security officials said.
Eight other members of the group were arrested in separate raids in the towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has orchestrated a string of attacks targeting security forces to avenge a deadly government crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
The group claimed two bombing on the Sinai that killed 17 policemen this month, and said it was behind the beheading in August four Sinai residents it accused of being “Israeli informants” who helped target and kill its members.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis used to launch rocket attacks against Israel, but since Morsi’s ouster in July 2013 it has claimed deadly attacks in the Sinai, the Nile Delta and in Cairo.
It also recently expressed support for the extremist Islamic State group (IS) that has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria.