Egyptian Army Officer Killed Outside Home; Militant Group Is Suspected
according to rapporteur report from newyorktimes , link , state media identified the officer as Brig. Gen. Adel Ragai, commander of the army’s Ninth Armored Division.
General Ragai, according to multiple pro-state papers, had previously been deployed to Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, where the military is fighting Islamic State militants.
The military did not issue a statement.
“I heard the gunshots and saw him die before my eyes,” Sumaya Zein el-Abedeen, the general’s wife, told the state media. She said neighbors had told her that they saw three gunmen with assault rifles in a vehicle outside the couple’s home. The men fired on General Ragai and his driver. Both men were taken to a hospital, where they were declared dead.
A group called Liwa al-Thawra, the Revolution Brigade, claimed responsibility on Twitter for the attack. The group’s account was then suspended.
General Ragai’s killing was the highest-profile attack against an army official since the 2013 military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians subsequently elected Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the general who led Mr. Morsi’s ouster, as president.
Several pro-government news outlets suggested that General Ragai had been targeted because he played a prominent role in the destruction of border tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Gaza is governed by Hamas, an Islamist group that is loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood and is known to smuggle weapons through the underground passages.
The shooting came eight days after Islamic State militants stormed a military checkpoint in northern Sinai, leaving at least 12 soldiers and 15 militants dead.
Last year, Khaled el-Maniee, a pro-army tribal leader from Sinai, was shot dead outside his home in Obour, the same neighborhood in which General Ragai lived.
Islamist militants have targeted high-profile officials since the Egyptian government began a crackdown on Islamists in 2013.
Security forces have killed and jailed hundreds of Egyptians suspected of loyalty to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Also on Saturday, the state media reported, a court upheld a 20-year prison sentence for Mr. Morsi arising from the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012.