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4 Egyptian Police Killed in Drive-by Shooting Near Cairo

  • Associated Press

A drive-by shooting killed four Egyptian police near a famed historical site on the outskirts of Cairo on Saturday and a military helicopter crashed due to a "sudden technical failure" northeast of the capital, officials said.

Masked gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a security checkpoint near Saqqara, said police Maj. Gen. Khaled Shalaby. The tourist site is home to the 4,600-year-old Step Pyramid.

No one immediately claimed the attack.

The helicopter was on a reconnaissance mission northeast of Cairo in the Ismailia province, the military said in a statement. It said crew members were injured, without specifying the number hurt or the severity.

Egypt has been battling a growing insurgency in the northern Sinai Peninsula led by a local Islamic State affiliate, which has mainly targeted soldiers and police there, but has also claimed attacks elsewhere in Egypt.

Militant group

The militant group claimed responsibility for the crash of a Russian passenger plane in Sinai last month, saying it smuggled a bomb on board the airliner. Russia said the plane was downed by a bomb and suspended flights to Egypt.

Egypt has not commented on the cause of the crash, saying an investigation is still underway.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi meanwhile inaugurated the construction of another side channel for the Suez Canal, the latest step in a multi-year effort to expand the crucial waterway and promote investment.

The militant attacks spiked after el-Sissi led the 2013 military overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi and launched a sweeping crackdown on his Islamist supporters.

The government has struggled to combat the Sinai-based insurgency while trying to jump-start the economy after years of unrest.

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