People gather at the site of bombing in Cairo, Egypt, Sept. 5, 2013. Egypt's interior minister survived an assassination attempt on Thursday when a bomb blew up as his convoy drove through Cairo's Nasr City district, state media and security officials said. (Xinhua/Pan Chaoyue)
CAIRO, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim on Thursday survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded near his convoy in the capital Cairo, but 19 other people were injured.
The blast occurred near the minister's convoy in Nasr City in eastern Cairo in the morning as he was on his way from home to the Interior Ministry headquarters, state-run MENA news agency reported, quoting a security source.
Mohamed Sultan, head of Egypt's Ambulance Authority, told Xinhua earlier in the day that 11 people were injured in the blast, including six policemen.
However, MENA's report put the injury toll at 19, including ten policemen and a British woman.
The report also said all the casualties were caused in the security guards' car leading the convoy, and the explosive device was planted in the Mosutafa Nahas street and exploded by remote control.
But state-run Nile TV reported that the bomb was thrown from a building.
Ibrahim, in comments to state television after the blast, condemned the bombing as a "cowardly assassination" bid.
Four vehicles of his convoy along with several nearby cars were damaged. All the streets were totally closed in the area following the attack and the traffic on Mosutafa el-Nahas street, where the explosion took place, was totally crippled. Some nearby shops were also damaged.
More central security forces were deployed on Mansour and Noubar streets that lead to the ministry while police started to search all cars parked in the area.
Initial investigations said nearly 50 kg of the TNT and other chemical materials were used in the attack.
Hours after the blast, Egypt's cabinet announced to strike terrorism with "an iron hand."
"The cabinet will hit those who playing with the nation's security with an iron hand until security returns across the country," the cabinet said in a statement, condemning the assault on the interior minister's convoy.
It also stressed the attack won't hinder the government's efforts to fight terrorism firmly and decisively.
For his part, army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi condemned the assassination bid, saying the attack won't influence the moral of security forces in the face of the terrorist elements, or implementing all the security procedures firmly.
The armed forces work with police and support it in dealing with the outlaws, he said in a statement published on the official website page of the armed forces.
Security condition in Egypt has been deteriorating after the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, as attacks on security check points, churches and governmental institutions occurred frequently, but the assassination targeting senior officials in the capital is a first of its kind.
CAIRO, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Egypt expects more crackdowns on Islamic movements after an attempted bomb attack against the interior minister allegedly staged by Islamists in retaliation for the Aug. 14 dispersal of their fellow protesters, analysts said.
Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim on Thursday survived a bomb attack on his convoy, after which he said "what happened today is a beginning of a wave of terrorism." Full story