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Egyptian policeman and seven suspected militants killed in Cairo gun battle

Three other policemen also wounded in the exchange which the government blamed on a 'terrorist cell'
The public prosecutor said a team of investigators has been sent to the scene of the attack (File pic - Reuters)

An Egyptian policeman and seven suspected militants have been killed in an exchange of gunfire in Cairo, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Three other policemen were also wounded in the gun battle which took place in the al-Amiyira district of the capital.

The ministry received information "that there is a terrorist cell, whose elements embrace Takfiri ideology, using several areas as a shelter in eastern and southern Cairo as a starting point to carry out terrorist operations," the statement said.

Egypt uses the term takfiri to refer to militants who often accuse their victims of being infidels.

Two private television stations broadcast what they said was footage of the shooting, which Reuters was not immediately able to verify, and asked residents to stay indoors.

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Weapons and ammunition were found with the suspects, the ministry said.

The public prosecutor said a team of investigators has been sent to the scene of the attack.

The military and police launched a major campaign against militant groups in 2018, focusing on the Sinai Peninsula as well as southern areas and the border with Libya.

The last major attack was in November 2017 when militants killed more than 300 people in an attack on a mosque in north Sinai, the deadliest such incident in the Arab world’s most populous country.

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