Egypt says security forces killed 17 Islamic militants
Security forces killed at least 17 suspected militants in raids in Cairo and in another province, Egypt officials said Thursday, four days after a car filled with explosives wrecked outside the county’s main cancer hospital, killing at least 20 people in the ensuing explosion.
The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, said in a statement that eight of the militants were killed when security forces stormed their hideout in the town of Atsa in Fayoum province, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Cairo.
It said another seven were killed in the Cairo suburb of Shortouk. The remaining two, including a brother of the suspected militant who was driving the car, were also killed in Cairo, the ministry said. It said police arrested another suspect.
The statement said the militants were members of Hasm, which has links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
The ministry released a series of images and video purportedly depicting some of the militants and assault rifles found in their hideouts. The statement did not say when the raids took place, or whether police forces were wounded in the clashes with the militants.
Sunday’s blast was the deadliest militant attack in more than two years in the Egyptian capital. Authorities said a car packed with explosives being driven to carry out an attack elsewhere collided with other vehicles and exploded on the busy Corniche boulevard along the Nile River, setting other cars on fire.
At least 20 people were killed and 47 wounded in the blast that also damaged Egypt’s main cancer hospital nearby, shattering parts of the facade and some rooms inside, forcing the evacuation of dozens of patients.
For years, Egypt has battled Islamic militants, led by an ISIS affiliate, in the Sinai Peninsula. That insurgency has at times spilled over into other parts of the country.