Officer, three suspects killed in exchange of fire in Qena

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A police officer and three suspects were killed on Tuesday in an exchange of fire in Qena governrate in a security raid, state media reported.

The Ministry of Interior has not yet published any statements regarding the incident, although a major funeral in the city of Deshna was held in the presence of civilians and security officials.

The killed officer was a major named Ahmed Abdel Fattah from the Central Security Forces.

However, state media has mentioned that the three dead individuals are terrorists, but their identities are not yet known. A security source told Al-Ahram newspaper that the dead suspects were involved in the “bombing of churches and the Luxor attack last week.”

On 4 August, a suspect was arrested after an attack on a checkpoint in the city of Esna, north of Luxor, that killed a lower ranking policeman and a civilian, and injured three others.

Police said that the suspects were in a pickup truck and passed by the police checkpoint. When being searched, the police narrative says, as published by state media, that police personnel took heavy fire, as the suspects escaped the scene, leaving the vehicle behind.

State media reported that the arrested suspect was carrying explosives and an explosive belt. The abandoned vehicle contained automatic weapons and a hand grenade. The suspect is currently being interrogated by the prosecution.

Upper Egypt has been far from the militancy Egypt has been facing ever since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

The only incident that took place was in June 2015, when two militants died and five Egyptians were injured in a suicide attack in the area of the Al-Karnak temple in Luxor. One of the militants died as a result of the detonation of an explosive device in his possession, an interior ministry statement read, without mentioning details on the precise cause of death of the second fatality. A third militant was injured during the exchange of fire between security forces and the militants. The injuries included Egyptian civilians and security personnel.

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