CAIRO Egyptian security forces killed eight militants they identified as members of the Muslim Brotherhood in a shootout in the country's south, the interior ministry said on Monday.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has launched the toughest crackdown on Islamists in Egypt's modern history after toppling President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.
Egypt outlawed the Brotherhood later that year and has designated it a terrorist group. The organisation maintains that its activities are peaceful and had no immediate comment.
An interior ministry statement said those killed included Helmi Saad Masri, whom it described as a prominent Brotherhood leader.
The statement did not identify the exact location of the shootout but said police came under heavy gunfire while trying to approach the group and had to respond with force.
Egypt last month declared a three-month state of emergency after two church bombings claimed by Islamic State killed more than 45 people.
(Reporting by Ali Abdelaty; Writing by Eric Knecht; Editing by Giles Elgood)