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NORTH SINAI , Egypt, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian army on Thursday killed a leader of Sinai-based, al-Qaida-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militant group after fierce confrontations at his hideouts in North Sinai's Rafah city, a security source told Xinhua.


"Mohamed Abu Sheeta was among the militants behind the kidnapping of seven Sinai soldiers last year during the time of ousted President Mohamed Morsi," the source added , noting that security forces also seized underground warehouses containing explosive devices and military uniforms, in addition to an underground field hospital working with power generators.


A similar military raid in late September killed at least 18 extremists mostly from the same group, including leading member Salama al-Dahbish. In September alone, the ongoing massive security campaign against Sinai extremists has left about 100 of them killed and tens arrested.


Anti-government attacks have surged in Sinai and other Egyptian provinces, including the capital Cairo , since former Islamist President Morsi was ousted by the military in July 2013, following mass protests against his one-year reign.


Since Morsi's removal, security crackdown against his supporters and his Muslim Brotherhood group has left about 1,000 killed and thousands others arrested.


Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which is branded by Egypt and the United States as a "terrorist organization ," has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks that killed hundreds of security personnel over the past year.


by Michael Place


MANAUS, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The company in charge of laying and maintaining the Arena da Amazonia pitch in Manaus has described as "fanciful" reports that paint was used to hide damaged turf.


Portuguese firm Red, which is responsible for the pitch in a partnership with Rio de Janeiro-based Greenleaf Gramados, guaranteed it would be ready for England and Italy's World Cup Group D clash on Saturday.


"Paint the field? It's a lie," Red spokesman Miguel Bastos told Maisfutebol. "What the pictures show is a spray.

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