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Egyptian police officers killed in shootout in Giza

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Police officers were killed in the shootout

However, the Ministry of Interior today said that 16 policemen, including 11 officers, were killed in the clashes.

The sources said authorities were following a lead to an apartment thought to house eight suspected members of Hasm, a group which has claimed several attacks around the capital targeting judges and policemen since a year ago.

The gunbattle took place at the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza governorate.

The militants opened fire on the group - a mix of police and armed forces - during a raid on their hideout near the Bahariya oasis, south-west of Cairo, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement on its official website that 15 militants were killed or injured in the incident, and a search was underway for one missing police officer.

Police on their way to a hideout used by the Hasm militant group reportedly came under attack with rocket-propelled grenades.

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Security sources said the forces were ambushed during the raid.

Egypt has been battling an insurgency since 2013 when the military deposed Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, in a coup.

Security sources on Friday said authorities were following a lead to a militant camp in the desert where eight suspected members of Hasm Movement were believed to be hiding. "Islamic State" (IS) militants based in the Sinai Peninsula have also increased attacks across the country recently.

No terrorist group claimed responsibility of the attack. The Muslim Brotherhood denies this. It is blamed for the killing of hundreds of soldiers and policemen and has started to target other areas, including Egypt's Christian Copts.

Details of Friday's deadly shootout remain unclear.

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