Thirteen suspected terrorists were killed in a shootout with security forces in the city of al-Arish in northern Sinai, announced Egypt’s interior ministry on Tuesday.

It said in a statement that the security forces received information that terrorist elements were holed up in a house under construction in the village of al-Yasmine.

The forces then launched their raid, but were met with gunfire from the terrorists.

The ensuing shootout left 13 gunmen dead. The security forces confiscated four rifles, three explosives belts and rounds of ammunition from their possession, added the statement.

The shootout came shortly after the ISIS terror group’s announcement on Monday of the death of prominent leader Abou Jaafar al-Maqdesi.

Websites linked to the group confirmed that he was killed, but did not go into the details of the time and place of his death.

Tribal sources in northern Sinai told Asharq Al-Awsat Monday that al-Maqdesi was part of a group of terrorists who had infiltrated Sinai from the Gaza Strip.

The past two days witnessed fierce clashes in the regions south of Rafah, they said on condition of anonymity.

Official authorities did not disclose any details over Maqdesi’s death.

The Egyptian military and security forces have since February been waging a large scale campaign to eliminate terrorists from the Sinai peninsula. ISIS has been behind several attacks in Egypt that have left hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians dead.

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