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Published: Thursday January 23, 2014 MYT 2:40:01 PM
Updated: Thursday January 23, 2014 MYT 2:40:01 PM

Motorcycle gunmen kill five Egyptian police, government says

CAIRO (Reuters) - Masked gunmen riding motorcycles killed five Egyptian policemen in an attack on a checkpoint south of Cairo on Thursday, the Interior Ministry said.

The attack in the province of Beni Suef, 100 km (62 miles) south of Cairo, was carried out by men riding two motorcycles, a ministry statement said.

"They opened fire heavily on the forces at the checkpoint," the statement said. Two policemen were wounded.

Bombings and shootings targeting security forces have become commonplace since Islamist President Mohamed Mursi was deposed by the army last July after mass protests against his rule.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The state has declared itself in a war on terror, and declared Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group on December 25. The Brotherhood has said it remains committed to peaceful activism.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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