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Al-Qaida-inspired group in Egypt's Sinai claims it killed police officer, struck gas pipeline


Mourners carry the coffin during a funeral for Maj. Gen. Mohammed El-Said, an aide to the interior minister, who was killed gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed a senior police officer as he left his home in the Haram district of Giza, Egypt, a neighborhood near the Pyramids, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. In increasing attacks against police in the capital, gunmen killed an aide to the country’s interior minister, in a high-profile drive-by shooting. Before the trial was adjourned, gunmen also shot and killed a policeman guarding a church in south Cairo. (AP Photo/Lobna Tarek, El Shorouk Newspaper) EGYPT OUT (The Associated Press)

An al-Qaida-inspired militant group in Egypt says it was behind this week's assassination of a senior police officer in Cairo and a pipeline explosion in the volatile Sinai Peninsula.

In two separate statements posted late Thursday, the group says it assassinated Maj. Gen. Mohammed el-Said to punish Egypt's military leaders.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or Champions of Jerusalem, also says it hit the pipeline Monday night south of the Sinai city of el-Arish as part of its war against the "Egyptian regime's economy."

The authenticity of the statements could not be independently verified but they were posted on websites commonly used by militants.

Egypt is facing a wave of bombings and shooting attacks by Islamic militants based in Sinai. The government has blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, saying it orchestrated the attacks.