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The New Arab

Egypt: Five suspected militants killed, six arrested near Cairo

Egypt witnessed its deadliest militant attack in its recent history last month [AFP]

Date of publication: 5 December, 2017

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Egypt continues its crackdown on militants in the country's remote desert areas, killing five suspected fighters, arresting six and seizing weapons.

Five suspected militants were killed in a shootout with security forces in a province about 150km east of Cairo, Egypt's Interior Ministry said on Monday.

In a statement, authorities also said police had arrested another six militants in follow up raids on a desert area in the Sharqiya province.

It added that police found bomb-making materials, assault rifles and ammunition at the site.

The Egyptian military has carried out regular strikes against such vehicles in recent months as part of efforts to crack down on militants operating in remote desert areas of the country.

Since the army removed Egypt's first democratically-elected president Mohammad Morsi in 2013, extremist groups have stepped up attacks on the military, police positions and Egypt's Coptic Christian minority.

Last month, Egypt witnessed its deadliest assault by extremists in its modern history when a  devestating militant attack on a mosque in northern Sinai killed 305 people.

Security forces are fighting the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group, which has increased its attacks in the north of the Sinai peninsula, as well as an Islamist insurgency in the country's western desert.

Following last month's deadly attack in northern Sinai, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered Egypt's army to restore security to the restive peninsula within three months, demanding "complete brutal force."

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