An Egyptian lawyer called on Tuesday for the attorney- general to enforce a court ruling banning Hamas activities and arrest its leaders who are part of a Palestinian delegation negotiating cease-fire talks in Cairo.

The lawyer, Samir Sabri, called on Attorney-General Hesham Barakat to include the names of those in the Hamas delegation on a watch list of those to be handed over to investigators for criminal prosecution, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

Members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad entered Egypt on Tuesday evening via the Rafah crossing in order to join a Palestinian faction discussing a long-term cease-fire deal in Cairo.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Army continued its military campaign against the Islamist insurgency in Sinai, killing and wounding suspected jihadists and arresting four in raids that destroyed 32 structures, the Egyptian state news agency MENA reported on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, MENA reported that police and army forces in the southern city of Aswan seized around 700 anti-aircraft bullets and missiles.

At least five policemen and four alleged smugglers were killed on Tuesday in a shootout near a northern Egyptian town after security forces tried to stop a vehicle suspected of carrying weapons and explosives, security sources said.

The attack happened in the Mediterranean province of Marsa Matrouh, about 175 km. west of the city of Alexandria, in a coastal area popular with beachgoers.

Security officials say terrorists operating from neighboring Libya are trying to forge ties with Islamists in the Sinai.

The security sources said the smugglers opened fire on police after being stopped at a checkpoint, and that the security forces returned fire. They said the death toll could still rise.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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