(Updates death toll, adds detail)
CAIRO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Armed militants killed at least 30
police officers in a shootout during a raid on a suspected
militant hideout in Egypt's Western desert, security sources
said on Friday.
A number of suspected militants were also killed and
security forces are combing the area, a statement by the
Interior Ministry said.
Egypt is facing an Islamist insurgency concentrated in the
Sinai peninsula from two main groups, including an Islamic State
affiliate, that has killed hundreds of security forces since
Islamist militants have launched several major attacks, most
recently targeting churches in Cairo and other cities with the
loss of dozens of lives.
The security sources said authorities were following a lead
to a hideout deep in the desert thought to house eight suspected
members of Hasm, a group which has claimed several attacks
around the capital targeting judges and police since last year.
A convoy of four SUVs and one interior ministry vehicle was
ambushed from higher ground by militants firing rocket-propelled
grenades and detonating explosive devices, a senior source in
the Giza Security Office said.
The number of dead was expected to rise, two security
Two security sources said eight security personnel were
injured in the clashes, while another source said that four of
the injured were police officers and four others suspected
Egypt accuses Hasm of being the militant wing of the Muslim
Brotherhood, an Islamist group it outlawed in 2013. The Muslim
Brotherhood denies this.
The Islamist insurgency in the Sinai peninsula has grown
since the military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the
Muslim Brotherhood in mid-2013 following mass protests against
The militant group staging the insurgency pledged allegiance
to Islamic State in 2014. It is blamed for the killing of
hundreds of soldiers and policemen and has started to target
other areas, including Egypt's Christian Copts.
(Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan Additional reporting by
Mostafa Hashem; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Ralph
Boulton and James Dalgleish)
First Published: 2017-10-20 20:05:18
Updated 2017-10-20 23:41:13
© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.