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.
The policemen were killed in the exchange of fire with terrorists late yesterday in el-Wahat desert in Giza governorate, about 135 kilometres from the capital. The security sources put the death toll of policemen, including officers and conscripts, at over 50.
However, the Ministry of Interior today said that 16 policemen, including 11 officers, were killed in the clashes. The Ministry said that the police forces killed and injured 15 terrorists during the clashes. It also said that 13 policemen, including four officers and nine conscripts, were injured and one policeman was missing.
The statement said the National Security sector received information about terrorists hiding in the el-Wahat. Police forces then launched an operation. The statement said that the forces were 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.