AFRICA Po­lice chief dies in Cairo bomb­ings

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

A po­lice bri­gadier-gen­eral was killed when three bombs went off near Cairo univer­sity, Egyp­tian state me­dia say.

At least five other people were in­jured in the at­tacks, the au­thor­i­ties say.

The first two bombs went off within min­utes of each other, with the third com­ing about two hours later.

Egypt has wit­nessed sev­eral at­tacks against govern­ment tar­gets by mil­i­tant groups fol­low­ing the oust­ing of the Mus­lim Brother­hood last July.

The govern­ment says mil­i­tants have killed al­most 500 people since last sum­mer, most of them po­lice­men and soldiers.

There have been fears of an in­crease in vi­o­lence in the run-up to the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in May, cor­re­spon­dents re­port.

The lat­est ex­plo­sions hap­pened out­side near a riot po­lice post out­side the main gate of the univer­sity’s fac­ulty of en­gi­neer­ing.

Of­fi­cials said po­lice had been the tar­gets of the blasts, which were re­ported to have been caused by im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices.

State TV named the of­fi­cer as Tariq al-Mir­jawi, the head of Giza’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion depart­ment.

“I was wait­ing for the bus when I heard two ex­plo­sions. There was dust in the air and po­lice­men were scream­ing” an eye­wit­ness told AFP.

The third ex­plo­sion took place as jour­nal­ists and emer­gency work­ers at­tended the scene, but was re­port­edly much smaller than the first two and caused no ca­su­al­ties.

The BBC in Cairo says the area around the univer­sity has be­come a bat­tle­ground for clashes be­tween po­lice and stu­dent sup­port­ers of the banned Mus­lim Brother­hood in re­cent weeks. The mil­i­tary-backed in­terim govern­ment out­lawed the move­ment at the end of last year, declar­ing it a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion.

It ac­cuses the move­ment of sup­port­ing at­tacks against the po­lice and army - a claim the Brother­hood strongly de­nies. Over 650 Nige­ri­ans have ben­e­fit­ted from the As­sisted Vol­un­tary Re­turn Pro­gramme (AVRP) of In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion (IOM) since its in­cep­tion in 2002.

The IOM pro­gramme as­sis­tant Ojoma Ali made this known while de­liv­er­ing a lec­ture at a work­shop or­ga­nized for train­ing of jour­nal­ists on mi­gra­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

She said the pro­gramme is for Nige­ri­ans in the Di­as­pora who vol­un­teered to re­turn to Nigeria and start a new life.

“IOM as­sisted them right from the coun­try they are com­ing from to get nec­es­sary pa­pers, travel plans and re­ceiv­ing them in Nigeria. These people also gets be­tween 500 Eu­ros to $7000 (N1.147m) grant which are usu­ally re­ceived in kind,” Ali said.

She added that the IOM does the train­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Small and Medium Scale En­ter­prises De­vel­op­ment Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and helps in se­cur­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion and places for businesses for a start up to avoid mis­man­age­ment of the fund.

IOM also mon­i­tored their businesses and re­lease their fund in in­stall­ments over a pe­riod of 12 months, helped in the reg­is­tra­tion of busi­ness name with the Cor­po­rate Af­fairs Com­mis­sion (CAC) as well as coun­sel­ing among other things.

The fund, ac­cord­ing to Ali, is given out based on the re­turnees’ sit­u­a­tion and con­di­tions. “Some came back with kids that needed to be sent to school and we also han­dled that. The ba­sic thing is that all the as­sis­tance are ren­dered in kind and not cash,” she said.

ECOWAS Pres­i­dent Kadre De­sire Oue­draogo (right) dec­o­rat­ing Gen­eral Us­man Ab­dulka­dir (mid­dle) with the ECOWAS Medal of Hon­our for his ser­vices as the Force Com­man­der of the African-led In­ter­na­tional Sup­port Mis­sion in Mali (AFISMA) from Jan­uary-July 2013, in Ya­mous­soukro, Cote d’Ivoire, re­cently.

By Romoke W. Ah­mad

Smoke is seen ris­ing shortly af­ter the first two bombs struck.

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