Egypt's security forces suffered one of their heaviest attacks after militants firing rockets and detonating explosives hit a police operation on Friday in the western desert, authorities and security sources said on Saturday. Saskia O'Donoghue reports
Hundreds in mourning across Egypt. Paying their respects to seven of the victims killed in shootout with militants on Friday (October 20) in the western desert. Security forces suffered one of their heaviest attacks, after militants fired rockets and detonated explosives during a police operation. There are conflicting reports on the death toll. Security forces claim 52 police officers and conscripts were killed. But Egyptian authorities say only 16 police died and 15 militants. Sophisticated attacks against police and troops have been on the rise since Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power. Security has been a key point for the former military commander who presents himself as a bastion against terrorism after leading the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013. No group has yet claimed responsibility for Friday's attack.