Three suspects were killed in a police raid in Damietta on Monday, as the National Security apparatus spearheaded a campaign to arrest more alleged perpetrators in the deadly Helwan attack in May.
The deputy head of Damietta Security Directorate General, Moustafa Moqbel, participated in the raid and was injured in the leg. Three other police officers were injured during an exchange of fire, mostly by shots to the legs, the Ministry of Interior said on Tuesday.
The raid was executed after acquiring legal permission from the prosecution, the ministry added.
The ministry explained that the dead suspects were involved in the Helwan attack, but did not provide any evidence or give any information about their relation to the incident.
In preliminarily reports, several state media outlets said that only two suspects were killed, and one was arrested.
The act of killing suspects accused of being involved in violent attacks of security personnel has become a trend among Egyptian police.
The ministry has not yet released a statement with the details of the attack, but state media and pro-government outlets posted pictures of the bodies of the alleged three suspects. One body was pictured twice, one without a machine gun, and one with the weapon attached to his left hand. The body shown in the picture is laid on a bed, and is covered with blood.
Other photos of the other two bodies were circulated. One of them also can be seen laid out on the floor with a gun in his right hand.
The names of the victims are Waled Hussien, 27, Mahmoud Ahmed, 28, and Mohamed Mahmoud, 40.
El Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence said that the incident shows the “lies of the Ministry of Interior… the case is still vague”.
There have been 267 cases of extrajudicial killing by Egyptian security forces in 2015, according to a report by the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR). The report, released last January, listed the human rights violation cases in 2015, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, suspicious deaths, and unlawful arrests.
“In 2015, the Egyptian authorities continued on their bloody path, with developing methods of oppression and repression, expanding it to include a wider sector of Egyptians,” the statement read.
Egyptian security forces have deployed deadly force to disperse peaceful gatherings, killing 62 persons, including six children and three women, according to the report. There were also 159 detainees who died in police custody due to the lack of medical care, injuries resulting from torture and deteriorating conditions inside prisons and police stations.