54 Egyptian police killed in ambush by militants, officials say

(CHICAGO TRIBUNE) — At least 54 policemen, including 20 officers and 34 conscripts, were killed when a raid on a militant hideout southwest of Cairo escalated into an all-out firefight, authorities said Saturday, in one of the single deadliest attacks by militants against Egyptian security forces in recent years.

The officials said the exchange of fire began late Friday in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza province, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) southwest of Cairo.

The firefight began when security forces acting on intelligence moved against a militants’ hideout in the area. Backed by armored personnel carriers and led by senior counter-terrorism officers, the police contingent drew fire and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the officials.

The officials said what happened next is not clear, but indications suggest that the force ran out of ammunition and that the militants captured several policemen and later killed them. One officer managed to escape in his armored vehicle, they added.

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