At least 54 policemen were killed when a raid on a militant hideout outside Egypt’s capital Cairo led to a firefight, AP reported on Saturday quoting unidentified security officials. The officials said the exchange of fire began late on Friday in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza governorate, about 135 kilometres from Cairo.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry issued a statement on the raid late on Friday, but did not provide a toll. Egypt’s State Information Service on Saturday said that Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Ahmed Sadeq ordered an immediate investigation into the deaths of the police personnel. It said a prosecution team was headed to the police hospitals in Agouza, Nasr city and el Shorouk city to examine the bodies of the deceased and speak with those injured.
The state service quoted the Interior Ministry saying that security forces were still conducting combing operations on the al-Wahat road to apprehend militants. The officials who spoke to AP said aircraft had to be deployed to contain the militants.
No militant group has claimed involvement in the firefight yet.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid condemned the incident on Twitter. He said that terrorism “hides in the dens of shame and disgrace” and that the “blood of Egyptian martyrs” will enhance the citizens’ determination to uproot terrorism.