Two police officers were killed in a shootout with “criminal elements” Wednesday when their patrol came under fire in the Upper Egypt village of Qena.
The officers, Captain Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Moneim and Sergeant Ahmed Mohamed El Sagheir, sustained gunshot wounds and died shortly thereafter, according to a Ministry of Interior statement.
“The Interior Ministry mourns martyrs for their heroic sacrifices for the sake of imposing security and stability,” the ministry said, promising to care for the families the deceased left behind.
Security forces killed one of the attackers and arrested another. The dead attacker was armed with a shotgun and had been sentenced to 15 years in prison at an earlier date, according to the statement. The arrested suspect was also armed and the ministry will take legal action against him.
Attacks on security forces have been on the rise since the 25 January Revolution. Between 25 January 2011 to 30 January 2014, more than 430 police officers were killed.
On 30 March, four Ministry of Interior conscripts were shot in Sheikh Zuweid while returning home for break; one died. The Sinai has seen some of the most brutal attacks against security forces, both police and army.
Shootings have also become fairly common in Sharqeya, which saw the deaths of three police officers during one week in February and two deaths on 9 March in a shootout that also claimed the life of one of the attackers.
The Ministry of Interior has denied a link between the Sharqeya shootings.