November 9, 2015 / 1:42 PM / in 2 years

Egypt says Islamic State militant killed in Cairo shootout

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces shot dead a leading Islamist militant suspected of masterminding and carrying out assassinations and bombings as well as attacks on foreigners, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

It said Ahraf Ali al-Gharabali, described as a leader of Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate Sinai Province, was killed in a shootout with security forces in the northern Cairo district of al-Marj. The ministry did not say when Gharabali was killed.

His killing follows the Oct. 31 crash of a Russian plane in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for bringing down the aircraft, which broke up in mid-air, killing all 224 people on board.

Gharabali planned and carried out several attacks including a May 2013 assassination attempt on former Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and the killing of at least three security officers and five conscripts, the ministry said.

He was also involved in a car bombing outside the Italian consulate in central Cairo in July, which killed one person and was claimed by Islamic State, it said in a statement.

Other attacks the ministry attributed to Gharabali included an attempted bombing at the ancient temple of Karnak in Luxor, the kidnapping of a Croatian citizen in Cairo, and the abduction and killing of a U.S. engineer in a desert region last year.

Sinai Province has killed hundreds of police and soldiers since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Michael Georgy

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