An Egyptian policeman holds a position in the village of Kerdassah on the outskirts of Cairo on September 19, 2013
An Egyptian policeman holds a position in front of a burnt police station in the village of Kerdassah on the outskirts of Cairo on September 19, 2013. Security forces hunted down militants in a village near Cairo amid a lull in clashes with gunmen, as Egyptian state media praised the "liberation" of Islamist bastion Kerdassah. © Khaled Desouki - AFP/File
An Egyptian policeman holds a position in the village of Kerdassah on the outskirts of Cairo on September 19, 2013
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AFP
Last updated: September 20, 2013

Egypt forces hunt down militants in Islamist bastion

Police on Friday hunted down militants in a village near Cairo as hundreds attended the funeral of a police general killed a day earlier when security forces overran the Islamist bastion.

A security official said 87 wanted men, some armed, had been arrested in Kerdassah, a village near the Giza pyramids, since the start of the operation on Thursday morning.

The fighting that erupted when police and soldiers stormed the village near the Giza pyramids has died down, the official said, as security forces conducted house-to-house searches for more suspects.

In Cairo, hundreds of mourners led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi turned out for the funeral of slain general Nabil Farrag, his casket draped in an Egyptian flag.

Farrag, the deputy chief of Giza police, was the most senior officer killed in a wave of violence since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's ouster in July.

State television reported security forces were searching for those responsible for the killing of 11 policemen in Kerdassah in August.

The 11 policemen were slain when a mob attacked their station on August 14, just hours after security forces cracked down on two camps of Morsi supporters in the capital.

Egyptian media on Friday poured praise on the Kerdassah operation.

"Kerdassah liberated of terrorism," said a front-page headline in state newspaper Al-Gomhuriya, while independent daily Al-Shoruk said: "The state is back, terrorism fades."

However Brotherhood newspaper Al-Hurriya Wal Adala blasted security operations in Kerdassah and Delga earlier in the week as "a war on Egyptians".

Security forces on Monday raided the central town of Delga in Minya province, which was held by hardline Islamists for more than a month.

Egypt has been gripped by security-related problems since the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time president Hosni Mubarak, but the unrest surged after the military's ouster of Morsi on July 3.

The army has also been engaged in a campaign in the Sinai peninsula, pouring in troops and armour to crush militant attacks, which increased after Morsi's ouster.

The Islamist president's removal came after millions took to the streets to demand his overthrow following a year-long turbulent rule that deeply polarised the people.

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