Up to 54 police officers killed in shootout in Egypt’s western desert

Up to 54 police officers have been killed in a shoot-out during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in Egypt’s Western desert, AP reported citing Egyptian officials.
The Egyptian Ministry of the Interior gave a far lower figure over a televised statement, estimating the death toll at 16 people, as well as adding that 15 militants were killed or wounded. Security forces are continuing to comb the area, the ministry said. Egypt faces an Islamist insurgency led by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) group in the Sinai Peninsula, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013. In recent months, the insurgency has intensified attacks on the mainland, often targeting the Coptic Christian minority.