Egyptian official: 14 policemen killed southwest of Cairo

Police officers were killed in the shootout

Police officers were killed in the shootout

Fourteen policemen have been killed in a shootout with militants near Cairo, an official in Egypt said.

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

Security forces, who are hunting down Islamic militants in the region, were ambushed late Friday on a road to the Bahariya oasis, some 200 kilometers southeast of Cairo, according to the interior ministry statement. The attackers also used explosive devices.

Egypt accuses Hasm of being the militant wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group it outlawed in 2013. The Muslim Brotherhood denies the charge.

An Islamist insurgency has grown in Egypt since the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

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 a year ago.

Hundreds of police and army personnel have been killed since then. Those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group. Firefights with the Hasm militant group south of Cairo continued into darkness. Several Egyptian media outlets reported the deadly shootout.

The group has maintained a steady war of attrition with sniper attacks and roadside bombings.

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