Gunmen Kill 5 Egyptian Policemen

Gunmen Kill 5 Egyptian PolicemenGunmen Kill 5 Egyptian Policemen

Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a security vehicle Friday killing five policemen just a short distance from some of Egypt’s oldest pyramids in Giza, officials said.

The shooting in the early hours of the morning took place in the village of Abusir in Badrashin, part of Greater Cairo, and the slain policemen were part of the force tasked to guard the district of Saqqara, one of Egypt’s most popular tourist sites and host to a collection of temples, tombs and funerary complexes, AP reported.

Authorities cordoned off the area and ambulances rushed to the site of the attack, which is located near the famous Step Pyramid of King Djoser. It is the oldest of Egypt’s more than 90 pyramids and the forerunner of the more familiar straight-sided pyramids in Giza on the outskirts of Cairo.

Attackers stole the weapons and radios of the victims and tried to set fire to the bodies but fled upon seeing people gathering nearby, witnesses said.

The interior ministry said that the militants sprayed the policemen’s vehicle with bullets from machine guns as the security force was on the move to patrol the surroundings. They fled after one policeman returned gunfire.

Earlier, officials said that the attackers were masked and that they targeted a checkpoint.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attack comes a week after Islamic militants killed 23 army personnel in Sinai Peninsula. Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April after suicide bombers struck two churches north of Cairo, killing scores of Christians.

Insurgents have carried out a number of attacks in Egypt since the 2013 military ouster of an elected  president, Mohamed Morsi. The violence has been concentrated in the northern Sinai Peninsula, but attacks spread in the mainland, including in the capital where suicide bombers have struck churches and security headquarters.

The self-styled Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for major attacks. However, a shadowy group called Hasm, or “Decisiveness,” which the government suspects is linked to the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, has claimed responsibility for similar drive-by shootings and attacks targeting police, military, judges and pro-government figures.

Caption: Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed in Egypt since 2013.


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