Egyptian forces chasing jihadists kill 12 Mexican tourists in error
Image: The Islamic State group in Egypt has launched numerous attacks against security forces (AFP Photo/Khaled Desouki)

Egyptian security forces killed 12 people on Sunday, including Mexican tourists, after mistakenly targeting their vehicles while chasing jihadists in the country's west, the interior ministry said.

The desert region, popular with tourists, is also a militant hideout.

Last month the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group beheaded a young Croatian there who was working for a French company and have also launched numerous attacks against security forces.

"On the 13th during a joint military police and armed forces operation chasing terrorist elements in Wahat in the Western Desert four pick-up trucks carrying Mexican tourists were mistakenly dealt with," the interior ministry said in a statement.

"The incident led to the death of 12 and wounding of 10 Mexicans and Egyptians," it said.