8 policemen killed, at least 3 injured in armed attack on Western Desert checkpoint

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.


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