CAIRO – Five members of Egypt’s deadliest militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, were killed on Sunday in clashes with police, the interior ministry said.
The jihadists, who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group, “opened fire” after security forces stormed a farm where the militants were hiding and preparing bombs, the ministry said in a statement.
“An exchange of gunfire then took place, causing the deaths of five members of the terrorist cell while a police officer was injured,” it added.
The farm was located in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya, northeast of Cairo.
A car bomb found at the scene was detonated by remote control, the statement said. Police also seized suicide belts, weapons and ammunition.
Three of the militants killed in the raid were identified as Abdel Fattah Ayed Marzouk Salman, Hamdeen Salman Saad and Mouaz Ibrahim Abdel Rahman – the son of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis leader Ibrahim Abdel Rahman who is currently in prison.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) has claimed an October 24 suicide bombing that killed 30 soldiers in North Sinai, a brazen attack that sparked a state of emergency.
The jihadists say their attacks are to avenge a government crackdown targeting supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi that has left at least 1,400 people dead.
The group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group that has captured swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.