CAIRO, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian police shot dead two leading members of the currently-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group in a shootout earlier on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
"Mohamed Kamal, a 61-year-old physician, one of the group's top leaders, and another leader Yasser Shehata, both were killed in the fire exchange," the ministry's statement said.
The police said the forces raided an apartment in Cairo's Bassateen neighborhood after learning it was used by the leaders as headquarters.
Kamal has been wanted over several charges including armed attacks and was twice sentenced to life in prison in absentia for establishing an armed group, the statement added, noting he has links with the assassination of the country's top prosecutor in mid-2015.
As for Shehata, he was also sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison for assaulting a citizen and forcibly detaining him in the headquarters of the Freedom and Justice Party, the group's political wing, according to the statement.
The Brotherhood group has been designated as "a terrorist organization" in 2014, a year after the military ousted former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and the police launched a massive crackdown on his loyalists that left about 1,000 of them killed and thousands more arrested.
Most of the group leaders, including Morsi himself and the group's top chief Mohamed Badie, are currently in custody over various charges including inciting violence to espionage.
Since Morsi's removal, growing anti-government attacks left hundreds of police and military men killed with a Sinai-based militant group loyal to the regional Islamic State (IS) group claiming responsibility for most of the attacks.
The liquidation of the two Brotherhood members came a few days after several anti-government attacks in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula as well as the capital Cairo.
On Saturday, five police conscripts were shot dead by unknown gunmen while they were on their way back from vacation to their police central security department in Arish city of North Sinai province bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.
A day later, also in Arish, four were killed and two others wounded in a blast that targeted an electricity company's vehicle, according to the Egyptian Interior Ministry.
Egypt's Deputy Prosecutor General Zakariya Abdel-Aziz survived an assassination attempt with a car bomb last Thursday in Cairo, and an emerging militant group calling itself "Hasm" claimed responsibility for the failed attempt in a statement circulated on social media.
Egyptian security forces have been launching massive anti-terror operations in North Sinai over the past three years, which killed about 1,000 militants so far and arrested a similar number of suspects.
The security raids in Sinai are part of the country's "war against terrorism" declared by then military chief and now President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi following the fall of Morsi.