Egypt kills 7 extremists in Cairo who were planning attacks on Coptic Christians

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Egypt’s security forces killed seven militants during a tense raid in the al-Amireya neighborhood in Cairo, according to interior ministry officials, adding that the extremists were planning attacks on Coptic churches ahead of Easter next week.

Several militants clashed with Egyptian forces on Tuesday from their hideout apartment in the al-Amireya neighborhood during a tense standoff which lasted at least four hours.

Security forces were able to find ten weapons and huge quantities of ammunition after concluding their raid on the militants.

An Egyptian policeman died during the clashes while three other police officers were injured, according to authorities.

Read more: Egyptian forces exchange fire with ‘terrorist’ group near al-Amireya

The Egyptian interior ministry said that the militant group had gathered information about the churches in the al-Amireya district and were planning to launch attacks on Coptic Christians during their upcoming Easter celebrations.

One of the fighters killed on Tuesday’s raid was also in communication with extremist fighters in Egypt’s Sinai, according to Al Arabiya’s sources.

“The al-Amireya neighborhood is one of the most densely populated areas of the capital Cairo. It would make sense that terrorist groups would choose to use this area as a hideout given the narrow streets leading up to the area,” retired Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Khalaf, a consultant at the Nasser Military Academy, told Al Arabiya.

Egypt has been battling an insurgency mainly in the Sinai Peninsula in northeast Egypt, spearheaded by a local affiliate of ISIS in the country.

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