Johannesburg - Seven militants associated with the Islamic State (IS) were killed on Monday after Egyptian police carried out a raid on an abandoned apartment building in Upper Egypt’s Assuit governorate.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry reported that the raid in Dayrot town centre was aimed at eliminating a terrorist cell before it was able to conduct attacks, and was based on intelligence from Homeland Security, the daily Al Ahram reported.
Following the shootout, the second in several weeks conducted in the Assuit governorate, police personnel seized large amounts of guns, ammunition and counterfeit military uniforms.
On Sunday security forces announced the death of two members of the Hasm militant movement following a shootout in the 6th of October City Cairo neighbourhood.
On Saturday the ministry announced the killing of 14 militants near Ismailia governorate after 26 army personnel were killed or injured in an attack in North Sinai on Friday.
Friday’s attack - one of the deadliest in two years carried out by IS-affiliated militants - occurred as the Egyptian military was preparing to assault militant positions near the border between Gaza and Israel.
The sophistication of the coordinated attack suggested that the Sinai-based militants were resilient and determined while underlining the difficulties the North African country is facing in trying to contain the insurgency.
In a press release, the Egyptian embassy in Pretoria said the large-scale assault on its security forces “confirmed several facts and drove home several messages a top of which is that this battle with the remnants of terrorist groups showed the state of despair of these groups which are subject to successive security strikes”.
It added the whole world was confronting terrorism both internally as well as the supporters of terrorism abroad.
Egypt has been battling an insurgency in the restive Sinai Province for years.
The insurgents have targeted Christians, lawmakers and military personnel in the Sinai but have also carried out deadly attacks on the mainland including deadly attacks on several churches which left dozens dead.
The insurgency intensified after Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Morsi, the country’s first-ever democratically elected leader, was overthrown in a military coup in 2013.