Cairo: Eight policemen were killed in an attack by a “terrorist group” on a security checkpoint in the New Valley in south-western Egypt, the Interior Ministry said late on Monday.

Three other police were injured in the assault in which two assailants were killed in an ensuing gunfire, the ministry added in a statement.

“The criminals are being hunted,” the statement added. The attacked checkpoint is located on a road linking the New Valley to Assiut in Upper Egypt. The road was closed for three hours due to the gunfire, Egyptian media reported, citing unnamed security sources.

Security forces were ringing a nearby mountainous area in hunt for the assailants, the sources added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attack is the second in a week targeting Egyptian security forces.

Last week, eight policemen were killed in a militant attack on a checkpoint in volatile north Sinai.

Egypt has seen a spate of attacks mainly against security forces since the army’s 2013 toppling of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi following massive street protests against his rule.

A radical group loyal to the terrorist Daesh has claimed most of the attacks.