Egyptian police officers killed in shootout with militants

14 policemen killed in clashes in Egypt

14 policemen killed in clashes in Egypt

At least 52 Egyptian police and conscripts were killed and six more wounded in a gun battle on Friday during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in the western desert, three security sources said.

Fifteen "terrorists" were killed or injured in the attack, state-run media outlet Ahram Online reported Saturday, citing the Interior Ministry.

Egypt has been struggling to contain an insurgency by Islamic militants led by an affiliate of the Islamic State group, centred mostly across the Suez Canal in the northern region of the Sinai Peninsula.

"A number of policemen" were killed in the operation, said the Egyptian interior ministry but did not reveal the exact casualty figures from the confrontation.

Earlier reports said that 14 police officers were killed and eight others were injured during the clashes.

The police forces received information about a number of terrorists hiding in the desert area.

Fifteen militants, who were reported to belong to an extremist group called Hasm, also died in the attack.

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It also said that 13 policemen, including four officers and nine conscripts, were injured and one policeman was missing.

The Associated Press news agency quoted an Egyptian security official as saying the exchange of gunfire occurred in al-Wahat al-Bahriya, a district in the Giza governorate, about 135km from Cairo.

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

The government accuses Hasm of being the militant arm of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood but the organisation denied such accusations.

Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April when a twin church attack killed scores.

Morsi was elected as Egypt's first civilian president in 2012, but the army overthrew him a year later following mass protests against his rule.

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