Terrorists from the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis jihadist organization released a video on Monday in which they are shown shooting down an Egyptian Air Force helicopter Saturday afternoon as it was flying over the Sinai Peninsula, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported.
Five Egyptian troops died in the attack in the northern Sinai, Ma’ariv said.
On Monday, Egypt’s Minister of Defense, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi attended a ceremony held in honor of the fallen pilots, according to the report.
The official spokesperson for the Egyptian Armed Forces, Ahmad Ali, confirmed the attack on the Egyptian army’s official Facebook page. Ali went on to say that an investigation has been launched into the terrorist act.
In recent weeks, Egyptian Apache helicopters have become a regular sight in the northern Sinai region as the military has expanded its efforts to eradicate local terror groups, including Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, that are operating with impunity across the Peninsula, Ma’ariv said.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has taken responsibility for most of the terrorist activities taking place in Sinai as well as attacks that were carried out over the weekend in Cairo.
In response to the heightened Egyptian military presence in the Peninsula, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri recently released an audio recording in which he calls Sisi, “a mercenary and a trader,” Ma’ariv said.
Watch a video of the attack here:
Read other articles written by the Algemeiner’s Jerusalem Correspondent Gidon Ben-Zvi here.