Egyptian security forces kill 12 suspected militants in Cairo

Egyptian security forces kill 12 suspected militants in Cairo
The Egyptian interior ministry said security forces had killed 12 militants from the shadowy Hasm organisation following a bomb blast on Sunday which injured 17 tourists near the Pyramids.
2 min read
20 May, 2019
The aftermath of Sunday's bomb blast which injured 17 tourists near they Pyramids (Getty)

Egypt’s interior ministry said that twelve suspected militants were killed Monday in police raids near Cairo, a day after a bomb blast injured 17 people including tourists near the Giza pyramids.

Security forces "carried out a raid against an apartment in the 6th of October district used for making explosive devices... These forces were shot at and responded, which left seven dead among the group," referring to the Hasm movement, a group which the Egyptian government says is the militant wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In another such raid in Cairo's Al-Shorouk neighbourhood against the Hasm group, the ministry said five suspected jihadists were killed in an exchange of fire.

Weapons and ammunition were seized in the two apartments, the interior ministry said.

"As part of the ministry's efforts to tackle the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organisation, information reached national security services" of attacks being prepared by Hasm, the ministry said, describing the operation as a “pre-emptive raid”.

The Muslim Brotherhood denies having an armed wing and has distanced itself from Hasm, a shadowy organisation which emerged in 2016.

Hasm has previously claimed responsibility for attacks on security forces and officials, including an attempted assassination of former Egyptian Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, but has condemned attacks on Egypt’s Christian minority.

The Interior Ministry’s statement did not directly link the raids to Sunday's attack in which a roadside bomb hit a tourist bus near the famed Giza pyramids and there was no claim of responsibility from Hasm or any other organisation.

Sunday’s attack came months after three Vietnamese holidaymakers and their Egyptian guide were killed when a roadside bomb hit their bus near the pyramids in December.

Shortly following that attack, the Egyptian authorities announced they had killed 40 militants in crossfire, but families of those listed in the government's killed list cast doubt on the official story, claiming their relatives had been arrested by security forces before and were still in jail.

The Egyptian military overthrew Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, in July 2013 and massacred hundreds of his supporters in Rabi’a Square in Cairo the following month.

Thousands of suspected Muslim Brotherhood members and other regime opponents have since been detained by the Egyptian authorities. Human rights organisations have also accused the Egyptian interior ministry of extra-judicially killing opponents of Egypt’s current military-led government.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab