CAIRO (AP) — Egypt says its police forces have killed five suspected Islamic militants in a shootout in a southern province.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement the fighting broke out Monday when police raided a suspected militant hideout in the Akhmim district in Sohag province, 390 kilometers (244 miles) south of the capital Cairo.

The statement added that police seized weapons during the raid. It didn't say whether any security forces were killed or wounded.

Egypt, which has been under a state of emergency since April of last year, has been battling Islamic militants for years. The insurgency gained strength after the 2013 overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president. The militants have mainly targeted security forces and Christians.

In February, Egypt launched a nation-wide security operation against the militants.