Egypt officials: 2 militants killed in shootout with police

CAIRO — Two suspected militants were killed on Sunday in an exchange of fire with the police in a province outside the capital Cairo, security officials said.

The officials said the militants were found in a hideout in the province of Qaliubya on Sunday and are part of a militant group suspected of being behind the killing of a policeman in July. They did not name the group.

The state-run news agency MENA reported the incident as well.

Meanwhile, two policemen were killed and six were injured late Saturday after their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in the town of el-Arish in the northern Sinai Peninsula, the officials said.

The policemen's deaths bring the total number of security personnel killed in separate attacks in el-Arish and border town of Rafah over the course of the past three days to 10, they said.

The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Egypt has been struggling to contain an insurgency by Islamic militants led by an affiliate of the Islamic State group centered in the northern region of the Sinai peninsula, though attacks on the mainland have recently increased.

The country is currently under a state of emergency, declared by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi since twin bombings rocked churches in the northern cities of Alexandria and Tanta on Palm Sunday killing at least 45 people. The attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group.

The restive northern Sinai has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, after Islamic militants killed more than 30 soldiers in a single attack.

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