FIVE EGYPT POLICE SHOT DEAD NEAR CAPITAL

Assailants killed five Egyptian policemen in a shooting south of Cairo on Friday, in the latest of a series of attacks targeting the country’s security forces, the interior ministry said.

The ministry said three gunmen opened fire on a police car and then fled, killing a non-commissioned officer, three conscripts and a police employee.

The attack took place near Badrasheen, a town some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Cairo, where militants have also targeted police in the past.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The killings came as police and the army said they are closing in on militants and jihadists following a spate of deadly attacks in the Nile Valley and the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt has struggled to quell the Islamic State jihadist group based in the Sinai Peninsula and smaller militant groups in the mainland since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and cracked down on his supporters.

IS jihadists killed at least 21 soldiers in restive north Sinai on July 7, the same day as the militant Hasam group claimed responsibility for shooting dead an officer with Egypt’s secret police in an attack north of Cairo.

The interior ministry said a day later that it had killed 14 alleged IS members in a raid on a training camp in the eastern province of Ismailiya.

Earlier this week, the ministry said police had killed six IS militants in a shootout in southern Egypt.

While smaller groups like Hasam have mostly targeted policemen and government officials, IS has also attacked foreign tourists and Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority.

Source: National News Agency