Gunmen kill ultraconservative Islamist in Egypt's Sinai

AP News
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Posted: Oct 24, 2015 2:52 PM

CAIRO (AP) — Gunmen on a motorcycle killed the parliamentary candidate of Egypt's leading ultraconservative Islamist party in the restive northern Sinai city of el-Arish, the party said in a statement Saturday.

Mostafa Abdel-Rahman of the Salafi Al-Nour Party was shot dead in front of his home as he headed out to a mosque for afternoon prayers, the statement said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for killing Abdel-Rahman, the group's party secretary in el-Arish.

Al-Nour supported the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who hailed from the rival Muslim Brotherhood group.

Egypt has been battling a long-running Islamic insurgency in the Sinai peninsula, which escalated following 2013 with an Islamic State affiliate and other militant groups carrying out attacks, mainly targeting security forces.

Founded after the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, Al-Nour won about a quarter of the vote in the country's first parliamentary election held later that year. But with memories of Morsi's ouster and the bloody crackdown on his supporters still fresh, Al-Nour alienated much of its base and is viewed as a traitor by the Brotherhood, which just a few years ago was the country's most organized political force.

Al-Nour's Secretary-General Galal Morra dismissed speculation that Abdel-Rahman was killed because the Al-Nour Party supports the Egyptian military. "We did not betray anyone and we don't know who did this or why they did it," he said.