Sinai jihadist leader Gharabli ‘killed’

A leader of so-called Islamic State's affiliate in northern Sinai was killed, Egypt's interior ministry said. Ashraf Gharabli, of the jihadist Sinai Province group, died in a shootout in Cairo after security forces tried to arrest him, it added. Gharabli led several attacks, including the kidnapping and killing of a Croatian in August, it said. Authorities are investigating the group's claim that it brought down a Russian airbus in Sinai recently. All 224 people on board were killed. Western officials say there is a strong possibility that a bomb exploded on the plane, though there has been no indication that Gharabli himself was involved. Gharabli was one of the most wanted militants in the country. His death was announced on the interior ministry's official Facebook page. Egyptian officials say he had been behind the death of Croatian Tomislav Salopek, and a deadly explosion in the Italian consulate in Cairo in July. Sinai Province - formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) - has been active in the Sinai peninsula since 2011. It changed its name after pledging allegiance to so-called Islamic State in 2014.