Bomb­ing on Cairo road to pyra­mids kills 6 po­lice

Shad­owy group Hasm claims re­spon­si­bil­ity

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -


A bomb­ing on a main Cairo road lead­ing to the Giza pyra­mids killed six po­lice and wounded an­other three yes­ter­day, the dead­li­est at­tack on se­cu­rity forces in the capital in more than six months.

The bomb­ing, near a mosque on a wide av­enue of­ten used by tour buses, hit a po­lice check­point, smash­ing sev­eral cars and blow­ing the win­dows out of po­lice SUVs. Gravel, de­bris, and leaves lit­tered the ground, as in­ves­ti­ga­tors in­spected the area and masked troops stood guard with au­to­matic weapons. “We heard the blast and rushed to the scene and found po­lice ve­hi­cles dam­aged,” said Ab­del Hamid Ab­dulla, who was nearby. “We saw some po­lice were in­jured, and some of their legs had been cut off,” he said.

State-run news agency MENA said the blast tar­geted se­cu­rity forces but did not elab­o­rate on what caused the ex­plo­sion. A se­cu­rity of­fi­cial said that two bombs placed in the area ex­ploded dur­ing a se­cu­rity pa­trol. The of­fi­cial spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he was not au­tho­rized to brief jour­nal­ists. A shad­owy group called Hasm, or “De­ci­sive­ness,” which the gov­ern­ment sus­pects is linked to the now-banned Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack. It has claimed pre­vi­ous attacks in Cairo, in­clud­ing a shooting against the coun­try’s for­mer chief Mus­lim the­olo­gian and a car bomb against the chief pros­e­cu­tor’s deputy. Both es­caped un­hurt.

“There is no safety or se­cu­rity for you as long as we hold our weapons in ji­had for God, there is ei­ther vic­tory or mar­tyr­dom,” the group said in a state­ment posted on­line.

In­sur­gents have car­ried out a num­ber of attacks in Egypt since the 2013 military ouster of an elected Is­lamist pres­i­dent. The vi­o­lence has been con­cen­trated in the north­ern Si­nai Penin­sula, where Is­lamic State-linked mil­i­tants are bat­tling the army.

Yes­ter­day’s at­tack was the dead­li­est in Cairo since May, when gun­men opened fire on a mi­crobus filled with plain­clothes po­lice in the sub­urb of Hel­wan, killing eight of them. IS claimed the at­tack. Most of the attacks in Cairo have been small-scale bomb­ings, in­clud­ing one in October that tar­geted a po­lice con­voy and killed a pedes­trian by­stander. Yes­ter­day’s at­tack comes as Pres­i­dent Ab­del-Fat­tah Al-Sisi is de­fend­ing tough eco­nomic mea­sures un­der­taken by his gov­ern­ment to ad­dress a grow­ing fi­nan­cial cri­sis and se­cure a $12 bil­lion loan from the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund.

The gov­ern­ment floated the Egyp­tian pound last month and slashed fuel sub­si­dies, steps that were wel­comed by the IMF and the business com­mu­nity but caused a spike the price of many goods, wors­en­ing the eco­nomic plight of or­di­nary Egyp­tians. The aus­ter­ity mea­sures could fuel a back­lash against Al-Sisi, who rose to power af­ter lead­ing the military ouster of Pres­i­dent Mo­hammed Morsi three years ago. Morsi had been freely elected a year ear­lier, but his rule proved di­vi­sive and the military stepped in amid mas­sive protests de­mand­ing his res­ig­na­tion. —AP

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