Published January 08, 2015
At least 15 Egyptian border guard troops were killed in an attack Saturday by gunmen using rocket-propelled grenades in the country's western desert, security officials said.
An Interior Ministry official and a military official said the gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint in the western desert governorate of Wadi el-Gedid, on the Farafra Oasis Road, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) from Cairo. Farafra is the country's western most oasis, near the border with Libya.
The officials said three attackers were killed in ensuing clashes. A medical official said five troops, including officers, were wounded.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
Egypt's state news agency MENA said this is the second time this border patrol company has come under attack from gunmen in the last few months. An earlier attack killed five troops, the agency said.
Egypt has long, porous borders with Sudan and Libya used by arms smugglers. Egypt has been flooded with weapons, mostly from Libya, following the 2011 civil war that toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.