Egypt’s interior ministry says police have shot dead nine people suspected of belonging to a cell behind deadly attacks in the Sinai peninsula.
The nine were killed in a shootout during a dawn raid on a farmhouse in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
They were suspected of “planting explosives and targeting security checkpoints in northern Sinai, which led to the death of a number of police and army personnel”.
The Sharqiya farm was a hideout and a training centre for weapons and explosives, the ministry said, adding that the cell was planning to carry out further attacks in northern Sinai.
The identity of the suspects is still being determined, it said.
In a separate raid in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, police arrested nine others and confiscated weapons and explosive devices, the ministry said in the same statement.
Four of the detainees were involved in a July attack in Cairo that killed two people, it said.
Egypt’s security forces are fighting a group affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, where hundreds of police, soldiers and civilians have been killed since 2013.
That rebellion gained pace after the military overthrew Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, in June that year.[SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS]