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Egypt Forces Kill 12 Terrorists in Western Desert Clashes 

Egypt Forces Kill 12 Terrorists in Western Desert Clashes 

Friday, 27 October, 2017 - 11:45
Egyptian security forces in the Sinai, in July 2013. (Mohamed El-Sherbeny /AFP)

Egyptian security forces killed 12 armed militants in a shootout on Friday in the country's western desert, the state-run MENA news agency reported.

The report quoted an unnamed Interior Ministry official as saying that the exchange of fire took place southwest of Cairo, in the New Valley province.

No policemen were reported killed. The area is farther south from the region where 16 policemen were killed a week ago in a brazen ambush by militants.

"Security forces dealt a severe blow to the terrorist elements in revenge for the blood of the men who were martyred last week in the oasis," MENA said citing a high-level security source. "Twelve terrorist elements were killed this morning in violent clashes."

MENA said that firearms and ammunition were also confiscated from the militants.

After last week's ambush, security officials had told The Associated Press and other media outlets that the death toll was over 50, making it one of the worst attacks against Egypt's police in years. But that higher death toll was never confirmed by authorities.

Egyptian forces have been battling several insurgencies, mostly focused on an ISIS affiliate that has killed hundreds of police and troops in the northern Sinai since 2013.

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