Egyptian official: 14 policemen killed southwest of Cairo

CAIRO (AP) — Militants killed 14 policemen and wounded eight in a shootout during a raid Friday on a militants’ hideout southwest of Cairo, an Egyptian security official said.

The exchange took place in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in the Giza governorate, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) from the Egyptian capital, after security services received information on the militants’ location, the official said.

The police also deployed aircraft to confront the militants, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

After nightfall, the clashes were still ongoing, Egypt’s state TV reported on its official website. State-run MENA news agency also reported the attack but provided a lower death toll, saying three policemen were killed.

The agency, citing an unnamed security official, said that a number of militants were killed but gave no further details. Several Egyptian media outlets also reported the deadly shootout.

No militant group immediately claimed involvement in the firefight.

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam condemned the killing in a statement.

Egypt has been struggling to contain an insurgency by Islamic militants led by an affiliate of the Islamic State group, centered mostly across the Suez Canal, in the northern region of the Sinai Peninsula, but attacks on the mainland have also recently increased.

The country has been under a state of emergency since bombings and suicide attacks targeting minority Coptic Christians killed scores earlier this year. Those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group.