Egyptian security forces fired tear gas and exchanged gunfire with armed groups in the Kerdasah district on the outskirts of Cairo early on Thursday, state TV reported.
Security troops stormed into the area to arrest people accused of torching police stations and killing about 11 security officers in clashes that erupted following the army’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last July, Police forces had not been allowed in Kerdasah since then.
At least one Egyptian police officer was shot dead in the operation against militants, state TV reported. It said police forces took control of the area and imposed a curfew.
Mursi’s exit was triggered by mass protests that led counter protests nationwide. Violence between his supporters and security forces included massive attacks on police stations, security officers and churches.
At least 1,000 people have died in the violence with most deaths coming during the security forces’ dispersal of two pro-Mursi sit-ins in Cairo on Aug. 14. About 100 police officers also died in the clashes.
Nearly 2,000 Islamist activists and politicians have been arrested since Mursi’s ouster.
Kerdasah, known for producing and selling fancy fabrics is 14 km from Cairo and known to be an Islamist stronghold. Residents of the area said on Wednesday they were not in control of the area but do not want police there.
“We don’t trust them as we know they will come to arrest people we know and respect whom they blame on the violence that we know was done by outsiders, not by our respectable sheikhs,” Ahmed Aly, a resident, told Reuters on Wednesday.
Egyptian security forces had last Monday stormed the town of Delga in Minya province, about 300 km south of Cairo, clearing barricades that was set by Mursi’s supporters there who were almost in control of the town. Forces arrested 56 residents.