Egyptian policemen killed in ambush south of Cairo


Eight plainclothes policemen in Egypt have been shot dead on the outskirts of the capital, Cairo, officials say.

Their white police van was ambushed in the early hours of Sunday morning in the southern district of Helwan.

Unidentified gunmen in a truck sprayed the vehicle with bullets from automatic weapons, the interior ministry said.


No group has said it was behind the attack. Egypt’s security forces have been battling Islamist violence in recent years.

Militants linked to so-called Islamic State have killed hundreds of security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula since the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

The insurgents have recently conducted hit-and-run attacks on police in Cairo and been behind small-scale bombings in the city.


Analysts say criminal gangs have been involved in shootouts before but Sunday’s shooting bore the hallmarks of a jihadist attack.

Residents told the Reuters news agency that the gunmen, who fled after the attack, wore masks.

The policemen, who were patrolling the area when the truck blocked their path, included a lieutenant and seven low-ranking officers, the interior ministry said.

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