Islamist candidate shot dead in Egypt's Sinai

A candidate for the Salafist Al-Nour party was gunned down by two assailants on a motorbike

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Gunmen shot dead an Islamist candidate in Egypt's parliamentary elections in North Sinai on Saturday, officials said, where militantss are waging an insurgency against the government.

Mostafa Abdel Rahman, a candidate for ultraconservative Salafist Al-Nour party which is seen as pro-government, was gunned down by two assailants on a motorbike, police officials said.

A party spokesman confirmed his death to AFP.

On Saturday, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group claimed credit for two roadside bombings in El-Arish over the past 48 hours that killed four policemen.

It also said it had planted a bomb at a Cairo intersection flanked by hotels near the pyramids, which wounded four people when police tried to defuse it on Friday.

The Cairo bomb went off at the Rimaya intersection, close to several hotels and 1.5 kilometers (just under a mile) from the Pyramids, it said.

It detonated when police used water cannon to try to defuse it, injuring two policemen and two hotel security guards.

One of the police was critically wounded, a security official said.

In its statement, circulated on social media sites, the ISIS group said it had set off the Cairo bomb to target "the apostate police force."

Militants in the Sinai Peninsula pledged allegiance last year to ISIS, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria.

The Islamist insurgency in the peninsula has swelled since the army's ouster of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi in July 2013.

Militants loyal to ISIS have killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and policemen, mostly in North Sinai.

A government crackdown targeting Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement since 2013 has left hundreds dead and thousands jailed.

Hundreds more, including Mursi himself, have been sentenced to death, often in mass trials. Many have appealed and won retrials, while seven have so far been executed by hanging.

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