ASSIUT, Egypt (AP) _ Suspected Muslim militants stormed two police stations today in southern Egypt, killing 10 policemen and a civilian, the Interior Ministry said.

Militants attacked stations in Mellawi and the nearby town of Abu Qurqas, both in the southern province of Minya, 140 miles south of Cairo.

Three policemen were killed in Mellawi, and seven policemen and one civilian were killed 20 miles away in Abu Qurqas, officials said.

Police officials in Cairo said the gunmen opened fire from outside the stations, but witnesses and police in Minya said that the militants stormed the stations. The gunmen fled after the attacks.

No group immediately claimed responsibility. Authorities said the shootings were carried out by ``terrorists,'' the word they usually use to describe Muslim extremists.

The attacks were the deadliest ones against security forces this year, and cast more doubt on government claims that it has crushed the violent groups. In July, suspected militants killed five police in Minya. A month later, six police died in an attack in Manfalout, 60 miles to the south.

The province has been a hotbed of violence between police and the militants, who are fighting to overthrow the secular government of President Hosni Mubarak and establish rule by religious law.