At least 35 police die in clash in Egypt's Western desert

At least 35 police die in clash in Egypt's Western desert

Armed militants killed at least 35 policemen in a shootout during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in Egypt's Western desert, security sources said on Friday, TRT World reports. A number of suspected militants were also killed and security forces are combing the area, a statement by the Interior Ministry said.

Egypt is facing an insurgency concentrated in the Sinai peninsula from two main groups, including a Daesh affiliate, that has killed hundreds of security forces since 2013. Militants have launched several major attacks, most recently targeting churches in Cairo and other cities with the loss of dozens of lives.

The security sources said authorities were following a lead to a hideout deep in the desert thought to house eight suspected members of Hasm, a group which has claimed several attacks around the capital targeting judges and police since last year.

A convoy of four SUVs and one interior ministry vehicle was ambushed from higher ground by militants firing rocket-propelled grenades and detonating explosive devices, a senior source in the Giza Security Office said.