World Bulletin/News Desk
Two Egyptian policemen were shot dead in the early hours of Sunday at a highway checkpoint east of Cairo, the Interior Ministry said.
Unknown assailants boarding a private vehicle fired at the checkpoint when security forces tried to stop them for a check-up after they appeared on the road from out of the desert, according to the ministry statement.
Two policemen were killed in the ensuing exchange of fire, the ministry said.
Security forces are currently combing the surrounding desert area around the checkpoint in search of the assailants who have fled the scene following the shootout, a security official told Anadolu Agency.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident, the latest in a series of deadly attacks which have mostly targeted security forces since last July's military ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.
Two shadowy militant groups dubbed Ansar Beit al-Maqdis - largely active in the Sinai Peninsula - and Agnad Misr have separately claimed responsibility over some of the attacks.
However, the Egyptian military-backed government has blamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood - the main subject of a sustained crackdown on dissent - for the attacks, while the group continues to spurn the accusations.
Sunday's attack also comes within less than 48 hours after an Egyptian traffic police officer was killed and another injured in an explosion that targeted their checkpoint in Giza province on Friday night.
Egypt has been dogged by heightened instability since Morsi's ouster. The militant attacks - which have killed scores of policemen and took a toll on the already ailing tourism industry - come in the run-up to the country's May 26-27 presidential elections.
Former army general and key player in Morsi's ouster Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is the main frontrunner in the upcoming polls, rivaled by leftist hopeful Hamdeen Sabahi.
Last Mod: 20 Nisan 2014, 10:27