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Oct 24, 6:57 AM EDT

Egypt arrests 12 suspected militants southwest of Cairo


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CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's Interior Ministry says police have arrested 12 suspected militants in a province southwest of the capital Cairo, a few days after authorities officially announced that at least 16 policemen were killed in a brazen ambush by militants.

The ministry says in a statement Tuesday the militants were "cadres" of Hasm, which authorities say is a breakaway faction of the Muslim Brotherhood that has targeted security troops in past years in a series of brazen attacks.

The statement says the arrests were made in Fayoum province, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Cairo. Police also seized 13 weapons and two explosive devices.

Egypt has been struggling to contain an insurgency by Islamic militants led by an Islamic State affiliate that is centered in the northern region of the Sinai peninsula.

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