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Egyptian planes destroy 'arms convoy' coming from Libya

Egypt's air force destoyed vehicles that crossed over from Libya [AFP]

Date of publication: 9 May, 2017

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The Egyptian air force destroyed 15 vehicles carrying weapons and ammunition after the convoy allegedly crossed into the country from Libya, a military official said on Monday.

Fifteen vehicles carrying weapons and ammunition from Libya were destroyed by the Egyptian air force, a military official said on Monday, after they illegally crossed the border into Egypt.

The vehicles came from chaos-wracked Libya - where rival militias are battling for control and the Islamic State group has a presence - according to a military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Egyptian army spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said the armed forces had received "intelligence on a large number of vehicles gathered on the Western border readying to infiltrate" the country.

"Our planes took off to survey the area and went into action as soon as the vehicles breached the border," he said in a statement on Facebook.

"The operation lasted 48 hours with surveillance and airstrikes. Five four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying weapons, ammunition and smuggled goods were destroyed," he said, without mentioning any casualties.

Meanwhile, Egypt also said its security forces had killed eight alleged militants who it claimed were being trained to attack government and Christian targets, in a shootout in the country's southern desert.

Those killed included Helmi Masri Mohareb, a leader who transported suspected militants across Egypt's southern border to join training camps, the interior ministry said in a statement.

The statement did not say when or the exact location in the desert the men were killed, or which country they were alleged to have received training.

The security forces came under heavy fire as they pursued the suspected militants, before shooting back at them, the ministry said.

"This led to the deaths of the mentioned leader and seven of the terrorist elements," of whom two had been allegedly identified as Muslim Brotherhood members wanted in other cases, it claimed.

The statement did not say whether there were any casualties among the security forces.

The Muslim Brotherhood has long denied involvement in violence, despite being systematically targeted by the government since President Abdelfattah al-Sisi seized power.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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