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2 Hassm members killed in shootout with police in Cairo: Interior Ministry

Two members of the militant group Hassm were killed in a shootout with security forces on the outskirts of Greater Cairo, according to an Interior Ministry statement on Saturday.

Twenty-eight-year-old worker Ali al-Far and 22-year-old student Maged Ali were killed after they fired at the police when they were apprehended on a motorbike on the Dahshour-6th of October road, the Interior Ministry reported.

Police were reportedly searching the area after receiving intelligence of a potential imminent attack.

Hassm claimed responsibility for the assassination of Ibrahim Azazy, a National Security Agency officer who was shot in the heart on Friday at noon in Qaluybiya governorate.

“A motorcycle shootout targeted Ibrahim Azazy as he left his home for Friday prayers, killing him instantly,” the Interior Ministry statement read.

Hassm published photos of Azazy on Saturday, claiming they were taken while tracking him ahead of his assassination.

Media outlets reported that two Hassm members were killed in a 6th of October neighborhood in Greater Cairo on Saturday. It is unclear, however, whether this was in response to Azazy’s assassination.

Also on Friday, the North Sinai city of Rafah saw one of the deadliest attacks in years, killing at least 23 Armed Forces soldiers and injuring several others.

Militant attacks increased in North Sinai following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, and spread to the Delta, where Coptic civilians have been targeted. The Delta attacks were mostly claimed by the Islamic State and its affiliate, the Province of Sinai, while Hassm maintains it only targets security forces.

In December 2016, Hassm claimed an attack on a police checkpoint in the crowded Giza neighborhood of Haram, killing six police personnel, including two officers. A month earlier, the militant group had attempted to assassinate a judge by planting a bomb in a car near his home.