New militant group claims responsibility for Egypt attack

CAIRO - A previously unknown Egyptian militant group has claimed responsibility for last month's ambush of a police raid outside of Cairo.

The Friday statement by Ansar al-Islam circulated on social media did not contain pictures, videos or other information to support their claim of the attack, which it described as "the battle of the lion's den."

Islamic militants ambushed Egyptian police on Oct. 20 near the Bahariya Oasis, about 135 kilometres (84 miles) southwest of Cairo, killing at least 16 policemen, according to the official death toll.

Egypt has been struggling to contain an insurgency by Islamic militants led by an affiliate of the Islamic State group centred in the northern region of the Sinai Peninsula.

Attacks have increased since the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013.

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