An Egyptian airstrike has killed the head of the Islamic State affiliate behind scores of deadly attacks on security forces and the suspected of downing a Russian airliner, the army has said.

A posting on the Facebook page of the Egyptian military’s chief spokesman, Brigadier General Mohammed Samir, said Abu Duaa al-Ansari was killed in an operation south of the Egyptian coastal city of el-Arish. 

Several senior aides and at least 45 other militants were killed in an operation carried out jointly by the air force and the anti-terrorism squad, according to Samir’s statement.

Read more: The Guardian