Egyptian police raided a house south of Cairo, shooting dead four “terrorist elements” who had been making explosives, the interior ministry said on Sunday, the third such incident in as many weeks.
It said the men were suspected members of the Ajnad Misr, a group that emerged in January 2014 and has targeted security forces in and around Cairo. The suspects had opened fire first, it said.
The ministry said that the four are also suspects in the killing of two policemen, a soldier and a civilian in addition to blowing up a police vehicle, a checkpoint and setting fire to police property.
“Engagement resulted in the death of four known elements and the uncovering of an assault rifle, a 9mm pistol, an improvised firearm, a car previously used in many terrorist attacks, and a motorcycle without license plates,” a ministry statement said.
Egypt witnessed in mid-2013 an insurgency that gained momentum when the military ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Mursi after mass protests against his rule. Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed.
The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful movement but Egyptian security forces do not separate between it and groups such as Ajnad Misr and ISIS.
ISIS-affiliated militants sometimes carry out assaults in Cairo and other cities, but are most active in Sinai, being a strategic peninsula neighboring Gaza, Israel, and the Suez Canal.
Police performed several raids in search of insurgents, one of which killed two men, suspected of being members of Ajnad Misr, at a Cairo apartment on Wednesday.
They also killed four suspected militants in three raids on Jan. 25, the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising that was partially incited by widespread police brutality and that terminated the 30-year rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
The Interior Ministry explained that raids do not take place without a warrant from a prosecutor, and that police do not shoot unless shot at.