Suspect in Egypt blasts killed near Israeli border

A suspect in the five terror attacks that have rocked Egypt 's Sinai Peninsula in less than two years died in clashes with police Friday near the border with Israel , security officials said.

The incident came as the south Sinai Sharm El-Sheik resort was preparing to host the regional meeting of the World Economic Forum from Saturday through Monday.

Arafa Auda Ali, 28, was killed while trying to hurl two explosive devices at security forces pursuing him in a village near Rafah, a town on the Egyptian-Israeli borders, Lieutenant Hussein Nasr of the northern Sinai police told The Associated Press.

Police identified Ali as the current leader of the Tawhid and Jihad Group (Monotheism and Jihad) _ the alleged perpetrators of three attacks on tourist resorts and two against international peacekeepers since October 2004.

Following Ali's death, only one leading militant in the group, Youssef Mohammed Hamad Hassan, remains at large.

On Thursday, another leading member of the group, Ouda Khadr el-Shenoub, 47, surrendered to police.

Ali succeeded as leader Nasser Khamis el-Mallahi, who police killed in a gunbattle earlier this month in clashes in the north of the peninsula.

Tawhid and Jihad is believed to be behind the Dahab resort attack in April, which killed 21 people, the Sharm el-Sheik triple blast in July last year that claimed the lives of at least 64 people and the October 2004 Taba attacks that killed more than 30.

Authorities also say the group was behind two attacks on international peacekeepers near their base in the north of the peninsula. Two Canadian soldiers were lightly injured in the first incident last year. Only the suicide bombers were harmed in the attack in April that followed the Dahab blasts, reports the AP.

I.L.