Police killed eight alleged members of the militant group Hassm on Sunday during a security operation at a suspected training camp in Fayoum, according to an Interior Ministry statement.
In the statement, issued on Sunday, the ministry said that five people thought to be members of the group were also arrested in Sharqiya and Giza governorates.
The operation at the camp, located in a stretch of desert near Senouras city in Fayoum, was carried out based on information acquired by the National Security Agency, according to the statement. Police personnel confiscated weapons, motorcycles and petrol barrels.
The ministry asserted that the militant group has developed its recruitment techniques, targeting young members and training them at the desert location in Fayoum. Hassm trains members in the use of weapons, self defense and digital security in preparation for militant operations.
According to police personnel, the alleged Hassm members opened fire on police forces as they approached the scene, leading to an exchange of fire. Police also arrested the five other suspected group members after locating two similar camps in Giza and Sharqiya, which were used for organizational meetings.
This is the fourth operation targeting Hassm announced by the Interior Ministry in the last two weeks, as security forces intensify the campaign against the group. Two other suspected militants were killed in Fayoum on Friday following a shoot-out with police personnel. The operation followed an attack on Fayoum police station on Thursday night that killed one police conscript and injured three others.
Hassm claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it an act of retaliation against the “killing of those who are forcibly disappeared” at the hands of the police.
The Interior Ministry also announced that Police killed two other alleged Hassm members in a shoot-out in New Cairo on Tuesday. According to the statement, the car driven by the suspects was identified as one used in an attack on police in May, which killed three officers and injured five others. The statement also asserted that the two people killed were involved in several previous attacks targeting security.
The ministry announced another similar operation on July 12, claiming that police personnel killed suspected Hassm leader Ahmed Suwailem during an exchange of fire with him in the northern Cairo.
Suwailem is said to be implicated in several court cases, and is accused of planning the attempted assassination of former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa alongside a series of other operations.
The intensification of the security campaign comes as Hassm, widely believed to be associated with the Muslim Brotherhood organization, announced one year since its formation.
This was accompanied by statistics claiming that the group carried out five assassinations, two attacks using car bombs and five others using explosives and two armed attacks. Hassm claimed that these operations have killed 27 and injured 56 others.