Unidentified assailants killed eight policemen and injured at least three others in an armed attack on the Naqab checkpoint in the New Valley (Wadi al-Gadid) on Monday evening.
The attack took place around 80 kilometers from the town of Al-Kharga (the Kharga Oasis is located 600 kilometers southwest of Cairo). Two of the assailants were killed in the crossfire, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry, which added that a manhunt is underway for the other perpetrators.
The ministry’s statement included a black mourning banner for the eight police personnel killed at the checkpoint, hailing them “Martyrs of National Duty.”
The assailants used “heavy weaponry” in the ambush, according to the state-owned Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper, which listed the names of the dead police personnel, including one captain and six conscripts. Four wounded conscripts are being treated at Kharga General Hospital, but are in a stable condition, a hospital source said.
In June 2016, six military personnel were reportedly killed in an armed attack on a patrol near the town of Farafra, in the New Valley governorate.
The deadliest attack in Farafra took place in July 2014, when perpetrators using rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns killed at least 21 soldiers and wounded four others at a checkpoint. A number of the attackers reportedly died in the ambush.
In June 2014, another six military personnel were reportedly killed at a border checkpoint near Farafra.
These armed attacks in and around Farafra have largely been attributed to cross-border smuggling rings. Armed operations are becoming more common in Egypt’s sparsely populated Western Desert.