Egyptian police kill 8 'militants' after checkpoint attack



 Egyptian security forces killed eight militants suspected of launching an attack on a police checkpoint in Sinai where eight policemen died earlier this week, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

At least 27 militants have been killed since the attack near the North Sinai provincial capital of al-Arish on Wednesday. The Islamic State had claimed responsibility for it.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that security forces got information about a hideout of some terrorists inside an olive farm in the desert area in Obour region in al-Arish City, Xinhua news agency reported.

"While the militants were being surrounded, they opened fire extensively towards the forces. They were engaged resulting in the death of eight terrorist elements," the statement said.

It added that five automatic weapons, an explosives device and two suicide belts were found in their procession.

Egypt has been battling anti-security terrorist attacks since the Army-led ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 in response to mass protests against his rule.

Hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been killed in militant attacks, mostly claimed by the Sinai-based Islamic State branch.

In February 2018, the Army launched a nationwide operation against the militants focused mainly on North Sinai. At least 700 militants and 50 security men have been killed since the start of the operation. IANS