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An Apache helicopter flies over Tahrir Square during a protest to support the army, in Cairo July 26, 2013. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with Egyptian Defense Minister Col. Gen. Sedki Sobhy Saturday to confirm the United States plans to deliver 10 Apache helicopters to Egypt to support Cairo's counterterrorism efforts, the Pentagon said.

The United States originally announced in April that it had decided to lift its hold on the delivery of the attack helicopters to Egypt, imposed last year after the military's ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and an ensuing crackdown against protesters.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said at the time that the helicopters would support Egypt's counterterrorism operations in the Sinai Peninsula.

On Saturday, Kirby said Hagel had confirmed to General Sobhy that Washington planned to deliver the helicopters, built by Boeing Co., but gave no date.

Kirby said Hagel also thanked Egypt for its role in brokering a ceasefire to end the latest round of Gaza fighting between Hamas and Israel.