16 Egyptian police officers killed in shootout with militants

Mourners in Cairo pray during a funeral Saturday for a police captain killed in the desert shootout.

Story highlights

  • Police trying to raid "terrorist elements' hideout" in Western Desert, ministry says
  • At least 16 police officers were killed and 13 injured, it says

(CNN)At least 16 Egyptian police officers were killed and 13 injured in a shootout with militants in Egypt's Western Desert, Egypt's Interior Ministry said Saturday.

The firefight occurred Friday as police were attempting to raid "a terrorist elements' hideout" in the desert's Bahariya Oasis about 370 kilometers (more than 220 miles) southwest of Cairo. The shootout lasted several hours, according to an Interior Ministry statement.
The statement said national security forces had received information that "terrorists" were in the desert to "hide, train, equip, and carry out terrorist operations, taking advantage of the rugged desert and ease of movement."
    Fifteen "terrorists" were killed or injured in the attack, state-run media outlet Ahram Online reported Saturday, citing the Interior Ministry.