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Four militants involved in March bomb attack die in firefight, Egypt says

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Four militants involved in March bomb attack die in firefight, Egypt says

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian police killed four suspected militants and captured two others accused of being involved in an attack on a local security chief two days before a presidential election in March, the interior ministry said on Thursday.

Two policemen were killed in Alexandria when a bomb left under a car blew up as the Alexandria police chief, Major General Mostafa al-Nemr, drove past on March 24. He escaped unhurt.

Four members of the group involved in the attack were killed in a gunfight with security forces who had raided their hideout in Assiut province, some 464 kms (288 miles) south of Alexandria.

The ministry did not say when the clash took place, but security sources in Assiut said on Wednesday that four suspected militants had been killed.

A fifth suspect, who authorities said had driven the car used in the attack, was tracked down to a flat in Alexandria and arrested, the ministry said. Security forces found a pistol, some ammunition, two detonators and bomb-making materials in the flat.

A second man, suspected of having arranged the vehicle used in the attack, was also arrested in Alexandria, the ministry said.

Authorities blamed the Alexandria attack on the militant Hasam Movement, which emerged in 2016 and has claimed several attacks on security forces and judges, including the fatal shooting of a policeman.

Authorities say the group is the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, but the Brotherhood says it rejects violence.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba, writing by Sami Aboudi, editing by Larry King)

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