CAIRO: Egyptian security officials say at least 55 policemen, including 20 officers and 34 conscripts, have been killed in a shootout during a raid on a militant hideout near Cairo, report AP and AFP.
The officials said Saturday that the exchange of fire took place late Friday in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza governorate, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) from the capital after security services moved in.
The officials say the death toll could increase. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry issued a statement on the raid late Friday but didn’t provide a death toll.
An official statement said a number of the attackers were killed, but did not give any figures for losses on either side.
According to a source close to the security services, the convoy was hit by rocket fire. The attackers also used explosive devices.
There has not yet been a claim of responsibility. A fake claim in the name of the small extremist group Hasm, reported by multiple local media, spread on social media soon after the attack.
Since the army removed President Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, extremist groups have increased their attacks on the military and police.
Authorities have been fighting the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group, which has increased its attacks in the north of the Sinai peninsula more than 500 kilometres (300 miles) away from the latest violence.