Security sources say at least 55 police officers killed in shoot-out with suspected militants in Giza, southwest Cairo
The officers were killed on Friday during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in Egypt’s Western desert.
The sources said authorities were following a lead to an apartment thought to house eight suspected members of Hasm, a group which has claimed several attacks around the capital targeting judges and policemen since last year.
The exchange of gunfire took place on Friday in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya district in the Giza governorate, about 135 kilometers, from the Egyptian capital.
The suspected militants tried to flee after the exchange of fire there, the sources said, and continued to fire at a second security unit called in for backup from atop neighboring buildings.
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.
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 were suspected militants.
Egypt accuses Hasm of being a militant wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group it outlawed in 2013. The Muslim Brotherhood denies this.
The militant group staging the insurgency pledged allegiance to ISIS 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.
Egypt has been under a state of emergency since bombings and suicide attacks targeting minority Coptic Christians killed scores earlier this year.
No militant group immediately claimed involvement in Friday’s shootout.
(With Reuters and The Associated Press)