CAIRO, March 8 (NNN-AGENCIES) — An Egyptian police officer was wounded and seven suspected militants were killed on Thursday in a firefight and raid in the capital Cairo, the interior ministry said.
Militants “opened fire” on security forces at a checkpoint on the southern part of the city’s ring road, leaving one officer wounded and three attackers dead, the ministry said.
“The militants driving a pick-up truck disguised in electricians’ work clothes were planning a hostile act planting a bomb in Giza,” the statement said.
An explosive device, guns and electric cables were found in the truck, the ministry said.
Checkpoints had been set up in response to intelligence that militants “had been planning a series of attacks with the aim of sowing chaos”.
Four other suspected militants were killed in a raid on an apartment in the southern outskirts of Cairo, where bomb-making material and weapons were found, the interior ministry said.
The government said those killed in both incidents were part of the militant Hasm group, an armed affiliate of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Authorities led a crackdown on Brotherhood members after the military overthrew president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, jailing many supporters on terror charges.
The Hasm group emerged in 2016 and has in the past claimed responsibility for several attacks including those against judges and police officers.
Egypt has been battling an insurgency since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in 2014.
A military offensive launched last February against the Daesh group in the Sinai Peninsula has killed more than 550 suspected jihadists and around 50 soldiers, according to official figures. — NNN-AGENCIES