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Oct 23, 1:06 PM EDT

Egypt destroys arms convoy crossing border from Libya


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CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's military targeted an arms convoy crossing the border from Libya, destroying vehicles loaded with weapons and explosives, and killing militants, a military spokesman said Monday.

The airstrikes come a few days after authorities officially announced that at least 16 policemen were killed in a brazen ambush by militants, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) southwest of Cairo.

Military spokesman Col. Tamer el-Rifai said in a statement that airstrikes destroyed eight vehicles and killed suspected militants, without elaborating.

He posted photos on his official Facebook page that showed charred vehicles and weapons allegedly belonging to the suspected militants.

Friday's attack took place near Egypt's vast western desert, where a previous series of attacks were blamed on Islamic militants pouring in from chaotic Libya.

Egypt has long contended that weapons smuggled across the porous desert border with Libya have reached militants operating on its soil.

Also on Monday, el-Rifai said that the military killed six suspected militants in a raid in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. The military seized weapons and ammunition, he said.

Egypt has been struggling to contain an insurgency by Islamic militants led by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group mostly in the northern region of the Sinai Peninsula, but attacks on the mainland have also recently increased.

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