Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi’s cabinet condemned the attack and described it as “terrorism”. The cabinet asserted in a statement that “these crimes will not discourage the government’s intentions to confront terrorism in all forms, no matter what cost”.
Beni Suef Governor Magdy Al-Bitity described the incident as a “villainous” act, state-run television reported.
An armed attack on a police checkpoint in Beni Suef left five policemen dead and two injured and hospitalised, early morning Thursday.
The attack was carried out by “masked men on two motorcycles” firing heavily, a statement posted by the Ministry of Interior read.
Of the two injured policemen, one sustained a gunshot wound to the right leg and the other sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the leg, hand and shoulder.
Security measures have been heightened in the governorate, which lies approximately 115 kilometres south of the capital. Security presence and checkpoints have been increased and security forces are combing areas in the vicinity of the site of the attack in search for the assailants.
The scene of the attack was inspected by top security officials from the governorate of Beni Suef and by a team of prosecutors.
This is the deadliest attack on police forces since the explosion at the Daqahleya Security Directorate in Mansoura last month, which left 16 people dead and over 100 injured.
Security forces have been increasingly targeted since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July, with the majority of the attacks occurring in the Sinai Peninsula.
Jihadist group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for several attacks and bombings, including a failed attempt on the life of Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim.