CAIRO (AFP): Egyptian police killed 13 “terrorists” in a shootout as they raided a hideout in the country s south on Friday, a week after a deadly ambush by militants, the interior ministry said.

The operation, in which assault rifles and explosive belts were recovered, took place at a farm used by the militants for training and recruitment, the ministry said in a statement.

It was not clear whether they were suspected of involvement in an October 21 desert ambush that killed 16 policemen, some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the site of Friday s operation.

“Organisational material and religious books” were also found at the site in the southwestern New Valley province, the ministry said, without reporting any police casualties.

No group has claimed the October 21 attack, but Egypt is battling an Islamic State group insurgency that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.

The insurgency is based in North Sinai province, although the group has extended its presence to southern Egypt and the Nile Delta, north of the capital.

The jihadists have also claimed three church bombings that killed dozens of members of Egypt s Coptic Christian community since last December.