Gunmen have killed four Egyptian security officials in a drive-by shooting on the outskirts of the capital Cairo. Masked gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a security checkpoint near Saqqara, which is near the 4,600-year-old Step Pyramid, Egyptian officials said on Saturday 28 November.
Security forces have cordoned off the area and are searching for the attackers.There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack is suspected to be linked to a growing insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula led by a local Islamic State (Isis) affiliate.
Egypt has experienced a rise in violent attacks since the army ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. The subsequent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has sparked a growing insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, with Isis-linked militants mainly targeting soldiers and police.
On Wednesday 25 November, two judges and four policemen were killed in multiple attacks targeting a hotel in Al Arish, the capital city of North Sinai.
The militants have also attacked targets across the rest of Egypt, with more than 600 security personnel reported to be killed. The Isis affiliate has also claimed responsibility for the downing a Russian passenger plane last month, killing all 224 people on board.
The Egyptian military has launched a counter-terrorism campaign, arresting suspects and demolished houses that belong to terrorists, including those facilitating tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi approved in August an anti-terrorism law that gives the security officials sweeping powers and provides immunity to those applying it, such as the military and police. The news comes as a military helicopter crashed on the Cairo-Ismailia road after experiencing a technical failure on Saturday morning.
The helicopter crashed at 9:25am (7.25am GMT) while it was conducting a surveillance mission in the region.The helicopter's crew were injured and taken to a nearby hospital, a military spokesman said.