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Egypt police kill 14 in Sinai shootout

Security forces inspect the scene after an armed attack by unknown assailants to Marminna Church in Cairo’s southern Helwan district in Cairo, Egypt on December 29, 2017 [Stringer / Anadolu Agency]
Security forces inspect the scene after an armed attack by unknown assailant in Cairo, Egypt on 29 December 2017 [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian security forces killed 14 suspected militants in the restive Sinai Peninsula, according to the country's interior ministry as reported on Anadolu Agency.

A ministry statement said the militants were killed in a shootout during a raid on a "terrorist" hotbed planning attacks in the North Sinai city of Arish.

The ministry's narrative could not be verified from an independent source.

READ: Egypt planning mass arrests on January revolution anniversary

On Thursday, security forces shot dead eight suspected militants in an exchange of fire in Cairo.

Egyptian authorities have stepped up security measures across the country ahead of Christmas, which Egyptian Coptic Christians celebrate on Jan. 7.

The Sinai Peninsula has remained the epicenter of a militant insurgency since mid-2013 when Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was ousted in a military coup.

Coptic Christians are estimated to account for roughly 15 per cent of Egypt's overall population of some 104 million.

READ: 7 killed, 13 injured in attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt

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