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Smugglers kill 6 army border guards, including officer, in gunbattle in southwest Egypt

Egyptian security officials say smugglers have killed six army border guards, including an officer, in a gunbattle in the remote southwest of the country.

The officials said Sunday that the battle late the night before took place in the Wadi el-Gadid province, which borders Sudan to the south and Libya to the west. They said the clash followed a desert chase.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information.

Egypt has been stepping up patrols on its porous border with Libya to prevent weapons smuggling as well as the infiltration of Islamic militants. Egypt is increasingly concerned over the chaos in Libya following the overthrow of long-ruling dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.