(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
CAIRO - Egyptian security forces have arrested 12 suspected members of the Islamist militant Hasm Movement in the province of Fayoum 60 km (40 miles) south of Cairo, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.
A ministry statement said police also confiscated a number of weapons and explosive devices.
Hasm, a group that emerged last year and has claimed several attacks on security forces, including the fatal shooting of a policeman and injuries to three others in the province.
Egypt accuses Hasm of being a militant wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's oldest Islamist movement which Cairo outlawed in 2013. The Muslim Brotherhood denies this and says it strives only for peaceful political change.
An insurgency led by Islamic State militants in Egypt's rugged Sinai Peninsula has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the Egyptian military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-2013 - although no official death toll has been released to date.
Attacks have increasingly moved to the mainland in recent months, targeting Coptic Christians as well as security officers and checkpoints in and around major Egyptian cities.