At least eight policemen were killed and three wounded in an attack by Islamist militants on a security checkpoint in Egypt’s New Valley province in the Western Desert, reported Reuters.
According to state television, the attack happened at 8.15 pm at the Naqb checkpoint over 370 miles south west of the country’s capital, Cairo.
The Interior Ministry said via a statement that at least two these attackers were killed in the incident. No group has emerged so far to claim responsibility of the attack.
Ever since President Mohamed Mursi was ousted by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt has been confronted by a 3-year Islamist insurgency. The ouster happened after thousands took to the streets to protests against the disgraced former leader.
The Sinai Peninsula is the major Egyptian area affected by the insurgency which is farer away from the location of the most recent attacks. It has resulted into the death of hundreds of soldiers and police.
However, the Western Desert has also recorded occasional attacks. This region shares its borders with chaotic Libya – a country with a very active Islamic State.
There are reports that the Libyan militants are attempting to strike a deal with the Sinai Islamists. This is an alliance feared to cause an elongation of the instability in Egypt. It could potentially drive out tourists and investors who are much needed for the sake of upping the struggling economy.