Egyptian military vehicle (archive)
Egyptian military vehicle (archive) Reuters

Egyptian security forces have arrested 12 suspected members of the Islamist Hasm Movement in the province of Fayoum, located 40 miles (60 km) south of Cairo, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

A ministry statement said police also confiscated a number of weapons and explosive devices.

Hasm is a group that emerged last year and has claimed several attacks on security forces, including the fatal shooting of a policeman and injuries to three others in the province.

Egypt accuses Hasm of being a terror wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo outlawed in 2013. The Muslim Brotherhood denies this.

The arrests come several days after a deadly shootout between security forces and terrorists in the Giza province.

52 Egyptian security personnel were killed in last Friday's incident, which occurred as security forces raided a hideout which reportedly belonged to suspected members of Hasm.

Egypt has been fighting an insurgency led by Islamic State (ISIS) in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Hundreds of soldiers and policemen have been killed in attacks in the Sinai since the Egyptian military ousted then President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-2013.

Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, the group staging the insurgency in the Sinai, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014 and is now known as Sinai Province.

It is blamed for the killing of hundreds of soldiers and policemen and has started to target other areas, including Egypt’s Christian Copts.