Egyptian jihadist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis denied Sunday that Shadi al-Menei has been killed, after security sources identified him as its leader and said he had died in an ambush.
The group also denied Menei was its leader, in a statement published on Islamist militant Internet forums accompanied by a picture of him reading a report about his "death" on a laptop.
The picture could not be immediately authenticated.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, based in the Sinai Peninsula, has spearheaded attacks that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since July last year when the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
"They announced that they killed Shadi al-Menei and that he was the emir (leader) of the group. He was neither killed nor was the emir," the statement said.
The Al-Qaeda inspired group has previously announced the deaths of its operatives and senior commanders, sometimes even before the authorities did.