On October 20, an official of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior said that a unit of the Egyptian security forces came under fire while conducting a security operation against a terrorists hideout in Bahariya Oasis area in the central Giza province.
Egyptian sources claimed that 16 Egyptian policemen and police officers were killed in the attack. However, the Egyptian El Tahrir newspaper said that a source of the Ministry of Interior said that 20 police officers and 10 soldiers of the Egyptian Army were killed during the clashes in Bhariya Oasis area.
Further reports said that the death toll grew to 53 service members. However, this still has to be confirmed.
El Tahrir reported that the 30 vehicles, 20 armored vehicles and warplanes are now supporting the Egyptian security forces operation in Bhariya Oasis. Local Egyptian sources claimed that a big camp of ISIS exists in area.
However, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq didn’t report any clashes with the Egyptian Army or security forces in Giza province. If ISIS confirms the Egyptian sources claims, this will be the first time ISIS is spotted operating in central Egypt. Lately SIS fighters were able to conduct several “hit and run” operations against the Egyptian Army in the Sinai desert.
Egyptian sources speculated that the most wanted Egyptian terrorist, Hisham al-Ashmawy, is a target of the ongoing operation. Al-Ashmawy is a former army officer who was fired due to relations with terrorist groups. He joined the militants in Syria and then returned to Egypt in 2013.