Cairo : At least 50 Egyptian policemen, including officers and conscripts, were killed and several others injured in a gun battle with terrorists during a raid on a militant hideout near Cairo, security sources said on Saturday.
The policemen were killed in the exchange of fire with terrorists late on Friday in el-Wahat desert in Giza governorate, about 135 kilometers from the capital.
The security sources put the death toll of policemen, including officers and conscripts, at over 50. However, the Ministry of Interior issued a statement late on Friday saying “a number” of policemen were killed and injured. It didn’t provide the death toll.
It also said that “a number” of terrorists were killed. The statement said the National Security sector receivedinformation about terrorists hiding in the el-Wahat desert area. Police forces then launched an operation.
The statement said that the forces are looking for terrorists in the surrounding areas. No terrorist group claimed responsibility of the attack. Terrorist attacks, mainly targeting police and military, increased after the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 by military following massive protests against his rule.
Hundreds of police and army personnel have been killed since then.
The military has launched security campaigns in Egypt’s restive North Sinai province, arrested suspects and demolished houses that belong to terrorists, including those facilitating tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip.