An Egyptian who worked as a police official at the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) was found dead with reported torture marks on his body.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based NGO, said Tuesday the Egyptian national’s body was found in Al-Mayadin District of the rural Deir El-Zour province of Syria.
Over the summer, ISIS gained control over large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq and rebranded itself as the ‘Islamic State’. The group practices a harsh interpretation of Islamic laws (Shari’a) and uses its own police force, known as the Hisbah, to implement its strict regulations. The Egyptian national was said to be the “Vice Emir” of the police force.
According to the Syrian observatory, a cigarette was found in the mouth of the deceased Egyptian national and a note that said “this is evil, o sheikh”.
The Head of the Syrian observatory, Rami Abdelrahman, told German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle he believes this is the first time a Hisbah member has been killed in this manner. He added that it is unclear whether he was killed by someone from within ISIS, by local residents, or by other fighters.
The Syrian Observatory said the death comes amid the attempted murders of other ISIS officials in Al-Mayadin. One of the incidents involved an attempt to run over an ISIS member, while the other involved the beating of an ISIS member by two assailants using a metal stick, leaving him in critical condition.
Inside Egypt, militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis which has claimed responsibility for many attacks over the past year, pledged allegiance to ISIS and renamed itself the ‘State of Sinai’.
Egypt has witnessed a surge in militancy since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, claiming the lives of hundreds of security personnel. The Egyptian military has been waging an intense security campaign to restore security, specifically in the Sinai Peninsula.
Egypt is currently constructing a buffer zone in Sinai, along the Gaza border, in the latest security measure aiming to curb militancy. Egypt had first decided to establish a 500 metre buffer zone in late October, following two deadly attacks in Sinai that left at least 30 military personnel dead. The two attacks were claimed by the ‘State of Sinai’.
In December, the North Sinai governor, Abdel Fattah Harhour announced that it will be expanded to 5 kilometres.