19 suspects of attack on Copts killed in shootout with Egypt cops

Nov 05, 2018, 11:47 IST | Agencies

Those killed in the exchange of fire were part of a cell that left seven pilgrims dead in Friday's attack in Minya province, a statement by the ministry said

19 suspects of attack on Copts killed in shootout with Egypt cops
Coptic Christians carry coffins of victims killed in the attack. Pic/AFP

Nineteen suspected jihadists linked to a deadly attack on Coptic Christians in central Egypt have been killed in a shootout with police, the interior ministry said Sunday.

Those killed in the exchange of fire were part of a cell that left seven pilgrims dead in Friday's attack in Minya province, a statement by the ministry said. "The terrorist elements opened fire on the (security) forces who responded," the statement said.

The 19 suspected jihadists were found "as part of a pursuit of terrorist elements involved in carrying out hostile operations in the country, including the last armed attack which targeted citizens returning from the Saint Samuel monastery", the ministry said. The Islamic State group claimed Friday's attack - which killed six Copts and one Anglican - in a message via its propaganda agency Amaq.

Raids were undertaken in the mountainous western desert of Minya province to track down the "fugitive terrorist elements", the interior ministry said. Several Egyptian TV stations broadcast images provided by the interior ministry, which showed the bodies of armed men strewn across desert sand.

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