Little-known group Ansar al-Islam claims responsibility for Egypt attack

The group did not provide any evidence for the claim. The statement was carried by another group called Guardians of Sharia.

Egyptians pray before the coffin of police officer Ahmed Fayez during his funeral inside a mosque in the capital Cairo's western suburb of Sixth of October on 21 October 2017. Picture: AFP.

CAIRO - A militant group called Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for an attack in Egypt’s Western Desert that killed several policemen on 21 October, the newly emerged group said in a statement on Friday.

“We have started our jihad with the battle of the Lion’s Den in the Bahariya Oasis area on the borders of Cairo and were victorious against the enemy’s campaign,” the group said in a statement indicating this was its first attack.

The group did not provide any evidence for the claim. The statement was carried by another group called Guardians of Sharia.

Three security sources said at the time that at least 52 police officers and conscripts were killed on 21 October when their patrol came under attack. The interior ministry rebutted that claim the next day, saying only 16 policemen had been killed.