A militant group called Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for an attack in Egypt’s Western Desert that killed several policemen on Oct. 21, the newly emerged group said in a statement on Friday.
“We have started our jihad with the battle of the Lion’s Den in the Bahariya Oasis area on the borders of Cairo and were victorious against the enemy’s campaign,” the group said in a statement indicating this was its first attack.
The group did not provide any evidence for the claim.
The statement was carried by another group called Guardians of Sharia.
Three security sources said at the time that at least 52 police officers and conscripts were killed on Oct. 21 when their patrol came under attack.
The interior ministry rebutted that claim the next day, saying only 16 policemen had been killed.
It was reported that Egypt is fighting an insurgency against militants affiliated with Islamic State in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula where hundreds of security forces have been killed since 2013.
Attacks on security forces have been common since Islamist president Mohamed Mursi was ousted in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.