Four militants have been reportedly killed in different clashes in Qaliubiya and Farafra in police operations, according to the Ministry of Interior.
In Qaliubiya, the ministry said in a statement that the militants killed were members of the Hasm group and that they participated in an assassination operation against National Security officer Ibrahim Azazy, killed early June. They were ambushed, according to the statement, in a farm and were killed as a result of an exchange of fire.
In the other incident, the forces chased the two suspects and found one of them hiding in Farafra. They were also killed in an exchange of fire. According to a statement, the forces approached one of the suspects, but he opened fire and used an explosive belt and was killed as a result.
Although militant insurgency has been predominantly active in North Sinai, militant attacks targeting public facilities as well as police and army facilities and personnel have spilled out of the volatile peninsula, often in the form of drive-by shootings and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.
The Egyptian state accuses the Muslim Brotherhood of hosting and training militant groups, through personnel and financial support. The peak in targeting police and army personnel has taken place since the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The Egyptian government argues that such attacks are an attempt to return the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood to power. However, the group denies its affiliation to any militant group.
Several of the local militant groups, such as Hasm and Liwa Al-Thawra, haven’t publicly announced their affiliation with the Brotherhood, but their rhetoric and usage of justifications of the attacks is very similar to that of the group, which calls for retribution. For example, in one of their videos, the militant groups used the picture of Mohamed Kamal to justify an attack. Kamal was the head of youth groups and allegedly the leader of militant teams in the Brotherhood. He was killed by security forces last year.