Policeman killed in clash in southern Egypt: security sources

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian policeman was killed on Tuesday in a clash with suspected Islamist gunmen in the southern province of Qena, security sources said.

Police had raided mountainous areas after receiving information that militants loyal to Islamic State were hiding there, the sources said. Two gunmen were killed before the exchange of fire that killed the policeman.

The clash comes days after a policeman and civilian were killed in a clash in the city of Esna, south of Luxor.

No group has claimed responsibility for either of the incidents.

Attacks on the security forces have been frequent in Egypt since the army, led by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

The violence has mainly been concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula, where Egypt is fighting an insurgency, but has also expanded to target Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the country’s largest minority.

Reporting by Mahmoud Reda; Writing by Arwa Gaballa; Editing by Andrew Bolton