Egypt: 14 policemen killed in shootout

Ivan Schwartz
October 22, 2017

An official statement said a number of the attackers were killed, but did not give any figures for losses on either side.

In total, 53 members of the security service died, sources told the BBC.

There has not yet been a claim of responsibility. The attackers also used explosive devices.

Terrorist attacks, mainly targeting police and military, increased after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 by military following massive protests against his rule.

The State Department said in a statement Saturday that "the United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack against Egyptian security forces near the Bahariya Oasis yesterday, which killed dozens of Egyptian personnel and wounded many others".

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 past year.

The security forces are understood to have gone into the desert following a tip-off about a possible hideout.

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But an AFP reporter did not see the strongman leader at an open-air ceremony involving foreign dignitaries, and his office said he had cancelled his participation in a number of other engagements.

Analysts say a section of the Brotherhood has encouraged armed assaults against the police.

Hasam has claimed multiple attacks since 2016 on police, officials and judges in Cairo.

No militant group immediately claimed involvement in Friday's shootout.

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.

The country has been under a state of emergency since scores of people were killed earlier this year in bombings and suicide attacks that targeted minority Coptic Christians.

Other reports by GizPress

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