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Egyptian army general killed in north Sinai

The second police assassination in 3 days comes the day the army claims to have killed 74 militants in the Sinai
A roadside bomb wounded 18 police near the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish on 26 July 2015 (AFP)

Unidentified assailants gunned down an Egyptian police general on the street in the Sinai Peninsula stronghold of militants who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group late, the interior ministry said.

General Ahmed Abdel Satar was shot late on Saturday and is the the second senior police officer in three days to be killed in the North Sinai provincial capital El-Arish.

On Wednesday evening, assailants killed General Khaled Kamal Osman as he inspected a police unit in a drive-by shooting claimed by the militants' Egyptian affiliate, IS Sinai Province.

The security forces have struggled to suppress an insurgency in the peninsula since the army overthrew former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Cairo says militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers, many in attacks claimed by IS.

The Islamic State group says its campaign is in response to a crackdown by the authorities since Morsi's removal. 

Global rights group Amnesty International says the crackdown has resulted in more than 41,000 arrests, charged or indicted with a criminal offence, or sentenced after unfair trials. Human Rights Watch has also accused the new authorities of committing possible crimes against humanity by clearing protesters in July and August. It estimates that at least 1,150 people were killed by security forces during those two months alone.

The military launched a major operation earlier this month called the "Martyr's Right" to root out militants in the Sinai and says it has killed more than 200 - a toll that has not been possible to verify. Last weekend, the Egyptian army killed 12 people - including eight Mexican tourists and their tour guides - when it mistook them to be militants. 

According to Sky News Arabia, an Egyptian army spokesman said the army killed 74 militants on Saturday, the 13th day since the launch of the operation, and arrested 52 more in the north of Sinai.

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