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According to news agencies, quoting security sources, the 16 police officers were killed in a shoot-out on Friday during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in Egypt's Western desert.

Earlier in the day, Egypt's Interior Ministry issued a statement confirming that "a number of police officers were either killed or wounded" in the incident, without giving an exact figure for the casualties.

Militants of Velayat Sinai, a local affiliate of the ISIS Takfiri terrorist group, still target security forces in the restive Sinai Peninsula while they continue to pose threats to the Coptic Christians in other provinces.

No terrorist group claimed responsibility of the attack.

Interior Ministry said that a number of policemen were killed and injured, and some terrorists also died in the ensuing crossfire.

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Two security sources said eight security personnel were injured in the clashes, while another source said that four of the injured were police officers and four others were suspected fighters. He also commanded the armed forces and police for saving Egypt over the past years from meeting the same fate of countries plagued with terrorism, the presidency statement said.

While the forces were moving towards the area, they were ambushed by militants who fired rocket-propelled grenades and detonated explosive devices.

Egypt accuses Hasm of being a militant wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group it outlawed in 2013 after bloody crackdown and military coup. The Muslim Brotherhood denies the charge.

Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday condemned a deadly shootout southwest of the Egyptian capital, Cairo which left 16 policemen dead on Friday.


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