At least 35 Egyptian police officers have been killed in an ambush by Islamist fighters near the Bahariya oasis in the country’s Western Desert, security and medical sources said Saturday, in a rare flare-up outside the Sinai Peninsula.
The interior ministry said security forces hunting down Islamist militants in the region were attacked late Friday on a road to the Bahariya oasis, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of Cairo.
An official statement said a number of the attackers were killed, but did not give any figures for losses on either side. According to a source close to the security services, the convoy was hit by rocket fire. The attackers also used explosive devices.
There has not yet been a claim of responsibility. A fake claim in the name of the small extremist group Hasm, reported by multiple local media, spread on social media soon after the attack.