16 policemen killed in Egypt's anti-terror shootout

Police officers were killed in the shootout

The firefight occurred in the Bahariya oasis on the Western Desert, about 85 miles (135 km) southwest of the capital, after security forces received information on the militants' location.

The Ministry of Interior said in a statement late yesterday that a number of policemen were killed and injured, and some terrorists also died in the ensuing crossfire.

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

BBC reported that more than 50 police officers were killed during clashes, while local media said 35 citing security sources.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday urged security bodies to exert utmost efforts to hunt for the perpetrators of the Friday terrorist attack that left 16 policemen dead in the desert of Giza province.

Though the militants attempted to flee after the first round of fire from security forces, they were stopped by reinforcements and retaliated.

Security forces have managed to kill and injure 15 terrorists, a number of whom were evacuated by other terrorists who escaped the scene of the battle, according to the statement. The attackers also used explosive devices.

Egypt is now battling an Islamist insurgency.

Hasm has claimed multiple attacks since 2016 on police, officials and judges in Cairo.

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

Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April when a twin church attack killed scores. It is blamed for the killing of hundreds of soldiers and policemen and has started to target other areas, including Egypt's Christian Copts.