An ISIS fighter has reportedly been captured by the Egyptian army in Sinai, while dressed as a woman.
The jihadist was caught by government forces near the coastal city of Al-Arish, the capital of North Sina province, some 200 miles north-east of Cairo
The alleged terrorist had attempted to disguise himself as a woman by wearing a burka, and is believed to have been trying to defect from ISIS-affiliates in Sinai.
An image posted by Twitter account Jihad Threat Monitor on Thursday morning, shows the captured terrorist surrounded by smiling and cheering Egyptian army soldiers.
The caption on the photo reads: ‘Egyptian soldiers posing with alleged #ISIS operative dressed as a woman, captured in Al-Arish. #Sinai’
ISIS-affiliated extremists are in the midst of waging a bloody insurgency which has killed hundreds of soldiers and policeman in the Sinai Peninsula since Mohamed Morsi was overthrown as president in 2013.
The Foreign Office advises against all travel to North Sinai, where there are ‘regular bomb attacks against government buildings and security forces’, and all but essential travel to the south – with the exception of the heavily guarded Sharm el Sheikh resort area.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the explosion which downed a a Russian passenger jet carrying holidaymakers over Sinai last October, killing all 224 people on board.
Egyptian ISIS affiliate says it brought down Russian plane
Two men attacked a hotel in Hurghada in January, with several hotel residents suffering injuries in the attack.
Eighty-eight people were also massacred by Islamists at Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005, of whom 11 were Britons while six Britons were among the 62 murdered by Islamists at Luxor at 1997.
There has been calls for Egypt to increase security following the rise of violence, particularly with the growing threat of an ISIS franchise in Sinai.
Meanwhile, the US military is considering pulling troops from a base in the northeastern part of Sinai Peninsula, partly because of the increasing threat from ISIS jihadists, CNN reported.
The Obama administration may order the movement of some US and international troops into the southern Sinai, and is discussing such a move with Egypt and Israel.
The two Middle East countries signed a peace deal in 1979, agreeing that a Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission would monitor compliance.
Some 700 US troops are part of that mission, with most of the peacekeepers stationed at El-Gorah camp, near the Gaza Strip.