16 Egyptian policemen were killed in shootout with terrorists in the desert of Giza province in Egypt. (Xinhua Photo)
CAIRO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Interior Ministry announced Saturday that 16 policemen were killed and another went missing in the Friday shootout with terrorists in the desert of Giza province.
The ministry said in a statement that 15 terrorists were either killed or injured in the armed clash, adding that 13 policemen and officers were also injured.
The police received information that a group of terrorists were hiding in al-Wahat area in the desert of Giza, before police forces were dispatched to launch a raid.
However, the statement added, terrorists started firing at the security forces with heavy machine guns from all directions as they approached their hideout, causing 12 officers and four police conscripts dead, 13 injured and one missing.
Security forces have managed to kill and injure 15 terrorists, a number of whom were evacuated by other terrorists who escaped the scene of the battle, according to the statement.
A search had been launched to track and hunt the escaping terrorists, the statement added.
The ministry also said that the terrorists used the desert area in al-Wahat as a training place and a launching point for the terror acts they carried out across the country.
Egypt has been fighting against a wave of terror activities that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
Terror attacks in Egypt used to be centered in North Sinai before spreading nationwide and killing hundreds of policemen and soldiers over the past few years.
Meanwhile, security raids killed hundreds of militants and arrested a similar number of suspects as part of the country's anti-terror war.