DOZENS Of Cops Ambushed By Islamist Militants In Desert

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Nearly 60 Egyptian police and security officials were slaughtered during a convoy ambush deep in the desert Saturday.

The police convoy was on a mission to root out militant safe havens in the desert when it came under fire from all directions. Egyptian security officials now believe the intelligence tip was a ruse to lure the convoy out into a vulnerable position. After the convoy was neutralized, the militants executed survivors and made sure equipment was unusable.

The group responsible is reportedly the Hasm movement of Egypt, an Islamic militant organization which security officials believe maintains ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Jamestown Foundation recently noted that the Hasm movement has not killed any civilians, but instead has been “consistently targeting members of the Egyptian police, the security services working under the aegis of the interior ministry and the judiciary. So far, the group has been careful not to target members of the Egyptian army … the leadership of the Hasm Movement clearly recognizes that avoiding civilian casualties and limiting its operations to targeting the police and domestic security services are what sets it apart from other militant groups like IS in Egypt, which frequently targets civilians both Muslim and Christian.”

The U.S. Department of State released a statement on the attack Saturday, saying, “The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack against Egyptian security forces near the Bahariya Oasis yesterday, which killed dozens of Egyptian personnel and wounded many others. ”

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