Police forces announced on Saturday that two alleged militants belonging to the militant groups Hasm and Lewaa Al-Thawra were killed in an exchange of fire with members of security forces in Beheira.
The statement said that the two men, named Abu Al-Foutouh Al-Beshbeshy and Islam Al-Mawled, used a farm in the city of Beheira to hide militants and train them on how to use explosives and arms. It added that the militants were accused of killing a lower ranking police officer from the security directorate of Beheira and were planning to assassinate more personnel.
The Muslim Brotherhood, on the other hand, continues to accuse police forces of “assassinating” the two men and preventing their families of holding a funeral.
The police says that a raid targeted the farm where the two resided, followed by an exchange of fire during which they were killed. The forces found large amounts of explosives and chemicals used to create TNT.
The ministry’s statement also added that five suspects were arrested in Alexandria, allegedly possessing materials to make explosives and ammunition.
In Daqahleya, police forces confiscated several devices and materials used in the making of explosives in a residential flat.
On Friday, police forces announced the killing of an alleged militant named Mohamed Abdo, a 33-year-old carpenter from the city of Al-Basartah, Damietta, who allegedly headed the military wing of Hasm.
Police said that Abdo was wanted in 14 militancy-related cases, one of which included the killing of a civilian in March.
In the case of Abdo, sources in the village of Al-Basartah said that security forces banned male relatives of Abdo from participating in the funeral and allowed only women.
Although militant attacks are mostly occurring in North Sinai, attacks targeting public facilities, as well as on police and army facilities and personnel, have spilled out of the restive peninsula, often in the form of drive-by shootings and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.
The Hasm movement appeared a few months ago, in 2016. In August, the group said it was behind the failed assassination attempt of former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.
While in October, militants driving a black private vehicle opened fire on an army leader, Adel Ragaai, assassinating him in front of his residence in Al-Obour City.
Ragaai’s assassination is considered critical, as it was the first time such an operation took place inside Cairo, far from North Sinai, where military confrontations between the army and “Sinai Province” are ongoing.
A group called “Lewaa El Thawra” claimed responsibility for the operation, according to a statement it released directly after the attack.
Though both groups have not declared a clear affiliation, they are believed to be militant arms of the outlawed brotherhood, due to the reasons stated to justify their operations.
One of these reasons is retaliation for the assassination of Mohamed Kamal, a senior leader of the brotherhood. Kamal, 61, was killed in his residence at the beginning of October during a raid conducted by Interior Ministry forces. Kamal was accompanied by a teacher named Yasser Shehata, who was also killed in the incident.
The latest major attack by Hasm was the Tanta bombing on 1 April, which took place near a security forces training camp. The attack killed one lower ranking police officer. Twelve other police officers and two civilians were wounded.