Egypt’s interior ministry has said “a number of policemen” were killed during a shootout following a raid on “a terrorist elements’ hideout” in Egypt’s Western Desert on Friday.
The raid took place after the police national security unit was informed of the hideout, located in Bahariya Oasis, a large area of 135 square kilometres, approximately 370 km from the capital.
According to the statement, the shootout took place when the forces were attempting to raid the hideout, leading to an exchange of fire initiated by the militants.
The police said a number of militants were also killed during the shootout, but didn't release any figures about the deaths either of militants or of police..
However, a security source told Al-Ahram Arabic news website earlier on Friday that at least 14 policemen were killed in the incident, while eight others were injured.
Later, anonymous security sources told local media that a least 30 were killed in in the incident.
The statement said forces were still combing the area.
Egypt’s security forces have been waging a war over the past four years against an Islamist militant insurgency, mostly in North Sinai, that has seen hundreds of security personnel killed, as well as hundreds of terrorists killed in security campaigns.