Top Egyptian army general shot dead outside Cairo home

Top Egyptian army general shot dead outside Cairo home
A senior army general was killed in a hail of bullets outside his home near Cairo on Saturday, an attack claimed by Islamist group Liwa al-Thawra
2 min read
22 October, 2016
A senior army officer was gunned down in an attack claimed by Liwa al-Thawra [AFP]

A senior Egyptian army officer was shot dead outside his home near Cairo on Saturday.

Brigadier General Adel Ragaei, who commanded an armoured division deployed in the Sinai Peninsula, was gunned down as he left his home in the Obour City suburb, sister-in-law Huda Zein Elabedine told AFP.

An extremist group called Liwa al-Thawra - Brigade of the Revolution - claimed the attack in a message posted on Twitter.

"At 6am (0400 GMT) they killed him. I can't tell you if it was six or twelve bullets. It was before he could get into his car," Elabedine said.

A military official said that the officer has been "martyred".

Liwa al-Thawra said a "group of our fighters" shot the officer in the head and made off with his weapon. The claim could not be independently verified.

The apparently Islamist group had previously claimed responsibility for an attack on a police checkpoint in August, posting footage of the shooting on the internet.

Extremists loyal to the Islamic State group are waging a deadly insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.

They have also claimed attacks in or near Cairo, including the abduction and murder of a Croatian oil worker and the bombing of the Italian consulate in 2015, but such attacks on senior officers are rare.

There has been an escalating insurgency in the country since the 2013 military coup which removed Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammad Morsi from power, with Egyptian authorities cracking down on his Islamist supporters.