Egypt: 50 policemen killed during clashes with militants

Egypt: 50 policemen killed during clashes with militants

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.

At least 54 policemen, including 20 officers and 34 conscripts, were killed when a raid on a militant hideout southwest of Cairo was ambushed, officials said Saturday, becoming one of the deadliest for Egyptian security forces in recent years.

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.

The shootout lasted several hours, according to an Interior Ministry statement.

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

Police on their way to a hideout used by the Hasm militant group reportedly came under attack with rocket-propelled grenades.

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In response to the latest bloodshed Egyptian security forces appeared to step up their operations in the area of the attack.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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.

The Muslim Brotherhood, once Egypt's largest opposition movement, has long denied involvement in the attacks on the authorities.

The country has been in a heightened state of turmoil and violence since the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's first democratically-elected president, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Egypt has been under a state of emergency since earlier in the year when IS militants launched a series of bombings and suicide attacks that killed scores of Coptic Christians.

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