Egypt policeman 'killed in shootout with Mursi backers'

CAIRO (AFP) - An Egyptian police captain was killed on Monday in a shootout on the southern outskirts of Cairo with alleged supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, the interior ministry said.

Since the military ousted Mursi last July, Egypt has been rocked by near-daily violence with hundreds of police dead in militant attacks and more than 1,000 Mursi supporters killed in street clashes with security forces.

The police officer was shot dead during an operation targeting five wanted members of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, the ministry said.

The five were "implicated in many violent acts and attacks on police cars and electricity transmission pylons", it added.

Prosecutors issued arrest warrants for the five, saying they were planning further attacks against the police.

The men were in a car when they "opened fire on security forces and tried to escape" as police moved in to arrest them, the ministry said.

Two members of the group were wounded in the firefight and all five were arrested.

Since Mursi's ouster, a government crackdown on his supporters has left more than 1,400 killed in street clashes and upwards of 15,000 jailed.

A deadly militant campaign against the security forces has killed nearly 500 policemen and soldiers since last July.