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Official: Egyptian militant leader killed

From Salma Abdelaziz, CNN
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Egyptian military confirms the death of Shady al-Meniey
  • He led a group called Ansar Jerusalem, which was inspired by al Qaeda
  • The violence comes ahead of presidential balloting next week

(CNN) -- Armed Sinai tribesman killed the head of an al Qaeda-inspired terror group on Friday, according to Egypt's state-run news agency.

MENA said that Shady al-Meniey, the 26-year-old chief of Ansar Jerusalem, died in a drive-by shooting in Egypt's volatile North Sinai. Three other militants also were killed.

Egypt's armed forces spokesman, Col. Ahmed Ali, told CNN that al-Meniey died, but provided no further details.

The Egyptian-based group has claimed responsibility for dozens of deadly attacks on civilian and government targets in Egypt.

CNN sought comment from Egypt's armed forces, but had yet to hear back.

Egyptians are scheduled to go to the polls in presidential balloting on Monday and Tuesday. They are voting for a new leader following the removal of Mohamed Morsy, the country's first freely elected president, in a popular military coup last year.

The outcome of the vote will likely bolster Egypt's relations with key allies Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates, Gulf states that poured billions of dollars into supporting the Egyptian government after Morsy's ouster.

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