A military conscript was abducted then killed by militants belonging to the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group in North Sinai’s Sheikh Zuweid late Friday, security sources said.
Sources told Aswat Masriya that gunmen belonging to Ansar stopped an ambulance transporting the conscript from Sheikh Zuweid to the military hospital in al-Arish. He was headed for hospital to treat an injury sustained during a “military campaign”.
“The ambulance was seized and the conscript was … abducted then shot in the head,” the sources said, adding that the gunmen left behind the ambulance driver and the paramedic accompanying him.
The Sinai-based Ansar is Egypt’s most notorious militant group; it claimed responsibility for the majority of militant attacks carried out in the Sinai Peninsula since July 2013.
The group changed its name to Sinai Province after pledging allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria last November.
Egypt carried out on Sunday executions against six defendants found guilty by a military court of participating in an attack against security forces in March 2014. The defendants are believed to be members of Ansar.
In an audio recording released online by Ansar late Wednesday, cleric Abu Osama al-Masry vowed to avenge his “brothers’ death”. The authenticity of the audio recording could not be verified by Aswat Masriya.
Militancy inside Egypt has seen a significant rise since July 2013, with the military ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, following mass protests against his rule. Most attacks occur in North Sinai and target security forces.
Earlier on Friday, security forces shelled an area south of Rafah in North Sinai, killing 10 suspected militants and injuring 5 others, military sources said. The militants are believed to belong to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.
Two more “extremists” were killed in clashes between armed forces and a “terrorist cell” in Rafah on Friday, the sources added.
Last week, the armed forces announced that security operations have left a total of 725 suspected militants killed between late October and late April.