Egypt says 13 militants killed in western desert

2017-10-27 18:22


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Cairo - Egyptian security forces killed 13 militants in a shootout on Friday in the country's western desert, the Interior Ministry said in a statement, a week after a deadly shootout between policemen and militants southwest of the capital Cairo.

The ministry said the exchange of fire took place in a raid on a militant hideout, southwest of Cairo, based on information it received from the national security apparatus on their location.

The state-run MENA news agency earlier quoted an unnamed Interior Ministry official as saying the shootout was in the New Valley province.

The ministry said 13 unidentified bodies were found as security forces combed the area following the shootout. They were found with firearms and ammunition in their possession, the ministry said. The statement did not say whether any police were killed.

Friday's shootout took place in an area farther south from the region where 16 policemen were killed a week ago in a brazen ambush by militants.

After last week's ambush, security officials had told The Associated Press and other media outlets that the death toll was over 50, making it one of the worst attacks against Egypt's police in years. But that higher death toll was never confirmed by authorities.

Egypt's government has been struggling to contain an insurgency by Islamic militants led by an Islamic State affiliate that is centered in the northern region of the Sinai peninsula, though attacks on the mainland have recently increased.

The country has been under a state of emergency since bombings and suicide attacks targeting minority Coptic Christians killed scores earlier this year, which were claimed later by the Islamic State group.

Read more on:    isis  |  egypt  |  north africa

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