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Gunmen kill police officers in brazen Cairo attack

Militants in Egypt have killed three police officers and wounded five others in a drive-by shooting in the capital, Cairo. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Assailants armed with machine guns opened fire on a police patrol stationed at an intersection in the eastern neighborhood of Nasr City overnight, Egypt's Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

"Armed elements riding in two vehicles approached a moving security convoy" as it crossed a roundabout, the ministry's statement said.

Police fired back and began pursuing the cars "in an effort to apprehend the perpetrators," the ministry added. Three police, including two captains, were killed in the confrontation. Five others were injured.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident - the latest in hundreds of attacks on soldiers and policemen since the 2013 military overthrow of elected Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

Much of the violence targeting security forces has been concentrated in the northern Sinai province, where Egypt is fighting an insurgency by a local affiliate of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) group.

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Similar assaults have also been carried out by another group known as Hasm, or "Decisiveness," which the government suspects is linked to the banned Muslim Brotherhood. While attacks in Cairo have been relatively rare, extremist militants have increasingly sought to expand their campaign from the Sinai Peninsula to other parts of the country.

Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April 10 after two suicide bombings at Christian churches in Tanta and Alexandria killed at least 45 people. IS claimed both attacks, which were described as being among the bloodiest the country had experienced in years.

nm/se (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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