Clashes between Egyptian security forces and gunmen in the southern city of Minya have left three police officers dead and two others injured, Press TV reported.
An Egyptian security official said Saturday that the police officers were conducting a raid on a group of criminals when they came under fire by some unknown assailants. An official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that the attack led to the killing of three officers.
The assailants escaped the scene, but operations are underway to capture them, Egypt's Interior Ministry said later in a statement.
Attacks on security forces have been on the rise in Egypt over the past months with most of them occurring in the restive northeastern Sinai Peninsula where the militant group calling itself Ansar Bait al-Maqdis is based.
The Saturday incident in Minya is rare case of such attacks in the south of Egypt, a sign that armed militancy in Sinai may have expanded to other parts of the Arab country. The government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has vowed to use all in its capacity to root out the insurgency.
Egypt has seen a heavy-handed crackdown on followers of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood since the country's first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who was backed by the party, was ousted in July 2013.