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3 blasts kill 5 in Egypt amid political unrest

English.news.cn   2014-01-24 19:25:08            

CAIRO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Three blasts hours apart hit the Egyptian capital of Cairo Friday morning, killing five people and injuring dozens of others, one day before the third anniversary of an upheaval that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime.

The first bomb struck Cairo's police headquarters in the early hours of Friday, killing at least four people and wounding 76 others, the health ministry said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif said the explosion could have been caused by a car bomb, explaining a car approached the compound and was likely detonated, which destroyed the facade of the building.

Initial investigation revealed two of the injured were civilians and most of the rest were conscripts.

In addition, a charred body was found at the blast site, which is suspected to be that of the suicide bomber, security sources said.

Armored vehicles as well as sniffer dogs have been deployed around the building following the explosion.

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who were inspecting the nearby Museum of Islamic Arts, told Ahram Online that a number of antiquities in the museum were destroyed by the bombing.

Security measures were beefed up around the museum, he added.

Hours later, a second blast killed one person and injured six others near a metro station near downtown Cairo and injured several others.

The state TV said three unidentified masked men threw a primitive explosive device near the Behoth metro station in the Dokki neighborhood, targeting four police vehicles.

All the victims are policemen and two of the injured are in serious conditions, said the report.

The third bombing occurred when a crude device exploded near a police station in the Pyramid area of the Giza suburb, said official news agency MENA, reporting no casualties.

An al-Qaida-linked group claimed responsibility for the first bombing on its Twitter account. "The explosion was against the oppressive and unfaithful security forces," said the Ansar Bayt al- Maqdis, a group based in the Sinai Peninsula.

Since the military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July, attackers have stepped up assaults on police and army personnel in lawless Sinai. Moreover, the violence have started to spread from the Peninsula to other parts of the country, especially the capital Cairo.

In September, the interior minister survived an assassination attempt in Cairo, and in December, a car bombing at a police compound in the Nile Delta killed 16 people and wounded about 140.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, despite its denial to any links to these attacks, was designated as a terrorist group after the December attack, for which Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility.

On Wednesday, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, a pro-Morsi group, called for 18 days of protests starting on Friday to mark the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for almost three decades, and ushered in the Islamists' rise.

However, supporters of the military will also hold rallies on the occasion to show solidarity with the army and celebrate its victory over the Islamists.

Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the army chief who removed Morsi from office, has announced that he might run for president if "there was a popular demand and an army mandate for him."

Related:

Photo>>>Explosion rocks Cairo police headquarters, killing at least 4

Explosion kills 4 near police headquarters in Cairo

CAIRO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- At least four people were killed in a powerful explosion which rocked a police headquarters in downtown Cairo early Friday, according to the online edition of Al Ahram newspaper.

The blast, which occurred at the Cairo Security Directorate in the Bab El-Khalk District, also injured 51 people, smashed windows of nearby buildings, stripped off parts of their facades and caused damage to several cars. Full story

Editor: chengyang
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