- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

CAIRO (AP) - Egypt’s interior ministry says fierce clashes that erupted after troops raided a makeshift bomb factory outside of Cairo have killed two military officers and five militants.

The ministry says a combination of police, special forces and military explosives experts raided a warehouse in a village in Qalioubiya province, just north of the capital early Wednesday, when the fighting broke out.

It says the militants responded with gunfire and car bombs, setting off the clashes that lasted several hours. Four militants were arrested.

The raid followed an investigation that showed the place was used as a bomb-making factory by the al-Qaida-inspired Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or Champions of Jerusalem.

The militant group is based in Sinai and has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in and near Cairo that targeted security forces.

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