Egypt says air force kills militants after attack

2017-10-31 19:40
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Cairo - Egypt's military said Tuesday its air force had carried out a desert raid, killing "a large number of terrorist elements" responsible for the deaths of 16 policemen earlier this month.

The policemen were killed in an October 20 shootout with militants on the road between Cairo and the Bahariya oasis in the Western Desert, a rare flare-up outside the Sinai Peninsula.

Authorities are fighting the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group, which has killed hundreds of security personnel in northern Sinai, more than 500km from the site of this month's clash.

State TV said on Tuesday the military had acted on "confirmed information" on the whereabouts of the militants involved.

The air force attacked a hideout in "a mountainous area west of Fayoum" south of Cairo, it said.

The raid destroyed three four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying large quantities of weapons, ammunition, and "extremely explosive material", it said.

Armed forces and police are combing the area for other fugitives, it added.

The defence ministry said that on October 20 it had sent police to the area, less than 200km southwest of Cairo, after learning that militants there were "hiding, training, and preparing to carry out terrorist operations".

As they approached, militants opened fire with heavy weapons, triggering a shootout that lasted several hours and also left 13 police officers injured and one missing, the ministry said.

No group has yet claimed responsibility.

Read more on:    isis  |  egypt  |  north africa

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