Egyptian security forces yesterday launched a raid in the North Sinai village of al Mahdiya near Rafah. Authorities had received information that two key Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) members were in the village. It is unclear whether the tip came from locals, one of the Islamist militants recently arrested, or a foreign intelligence service.
According to Egypt’s army spokesman, upon arriving in the area Egyptian forces came under heavy fire. In the ensuing clashes, two soldiers were killed and eight injured. The army spokesman further claimed that 3 terrorists were killed. However, Shadi el Menai and Kamal Allam, the original targets of the raid, appear to have survived.
The Long War Journal had reported on Dec. 4 that el Menai, last seen in September, was still in North Sinai. […]