Suspected Islamic militants have gunned down a senior Egyptian army officer near his home in an eastern Cairo suburb, according to two security officials.

The officials identified the victim as Brig-Gen. Adel Ragai, commander of the army’s 9th armored division, which is headquartered in the sprawling military base of Dahshour west of Cairo. They said Ragai recently served in the restive north of the Sinai Peninsula, for years now the theater of operations in what has effectively become a war of attrition between security forces and Islamic militants.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The cabinet denounced the attack in a statement, quoting Prime Minister Sherif Ismail as saying such attacks only strengthened the resolve of security forces to defeat the militants. The statement did not name the victim.

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