CAIRO, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian security forces shot dead three wanted militants in an exchange of fire in Qalyubia province north of the capital Cairo, the Interior Ministry said in a statement late Thursday night.
"When they felt the approach of the forces, they started to open fire at them. The forces shot back and the three were killed as a result," the statement said.
Police said the militants shot dead a policeman a few days ago in a similar police raid on their hideouts.
Two of the three fugitives who were wanted for smuggling drugs and arms escaped from jails taking advantage of the security situation in Egypt.
The police said they found weapons and ammunition in their possession after the shootout.
A number of criminals escaped from Egyptian prisons nationwide as the security situation deteriorated in 2011 when former President Hosni Mubarak was toppled by mass protests.
The Egyptian government has taken measures to restore security in the country since then.