At least 52 Egyptian police and conscripts were killed and six more wounded in a gun battle on Friday during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in the western desert, three security sources said.
The police forces received information about a number of terrorists hiding in the desert area.
The ministry said in a statement on its official website that 15 militants were killed or injured in the incident, and a search was underway for one missing police officer.
The gunbattle took place at the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza governorate. Cairo has struggled to contain an insurgency since its military led a coup against Egypt's first democratically-elected leader.
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Authorities are fighting the Egyptian branch of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, which has increased its attacks in the north of the Sinai peninsula more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) away from the latest violence. Local reports suggest explosives were also used by the militants. He also commanded the armed forces and police for saving Egypt over the past years from meeting the same fate of countries plagued with terrorism, the presidency statement said. The Muslim Brotherhood has denied any involvement in violent attacks against security forces.
Egypt has been under a state of emergency since bombings and suicide attacks targeting minority Coptic Christians killed scores earlier this year.
Egypt has been fighting against a wave of terror activities that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.