Officials in Egypt say militant killed by his own bomb in explosion in restive Sinai Peninsula

5/25/2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

EL-ARISH, Egypt — A suspected member of an al-Qaida-inspired group was killed by his own roadside bomb in the country’s restive Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian security officials said.

The officials said the militant’s father lost an arm in the blast Saturday. They said both men are members of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has been blamed for some of the bloodiest attacks in Egypt in recent years. Their assaults increased dramatically after the military overthrow of the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last July.

The officials said the two were trying to plant the bomb on a road frequently used by the army. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief journalists.

The attempted attack comes as Egyptians will vote Monday and Tuesday in a presidential election.

Meanwhile, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis issued a statement Sunday denying Egyptian authorities claim Thursday that its leader, Shadi el-Manaei, was killed with three of his associates. Egyptian officials said the four had been killed on a road in central Sinai by tribesmen avenging the killing of other tribesmen accused of cooperating with police.

The statement said the Egyptian government used to claim to show them “achieving great illusionary victories and even the killing of the leaders and commanders of the group.”

The group even denied that al-Manaei is its leader.

The group also warned tribesmen that “we only target those who work with this (Egyptian) renegade army ... and after warning them and after appealing to them to repent.”

The authenticity of the statement could not be verified but it conforms with the group’s previous statements. At least two militant websites have published it.