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3 blasts targeting police kill 5, wound 85 in Cairo

English.news.cn   2014-01-24 22:59:05

CAIRO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Three separate blasts hit the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Friday, killing at least five people and wounding 85 others, one day before the third anniversary of an upheaval that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

The first bomb struck Cairo's police headquarters in the early hours of Friday, killing 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, adding that the bombing 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.

The interior ministry said in a statement that more than half ton of highly explosive materials were used in the blast.

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who was then inspecting the nearby Museum of Islamic Arts, said that a number of antiquities in the museum were destroyed in the bombing.

A Xinhua reporter at the scene said that some people chanted anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans following the explosion. Some other protesters held posters of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the head of Egypt's armed forces, calling on him to run for the presidency.

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

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 condition, said the report.

A 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-inspired Sinai-based Jihadist group, Ansar Beit al- Maqdis, has claimed responsibility for the first bombing. "The explosion was against the oppressive and unfaithful security forces."

In December 2013, Bayt al-Maqdis said it was behind a car bomb attack on an Egyptian police building in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura which killed 16 people. Immediately after the blast, Egypt's interim government declared the Brotherhood group, from which Morsi hails, as a terrorist organization.

Elsewhere in Egypt, a group of unknown gunmen attacked a police station in Sharqiya province in the Nile Delta, leaving several police personnel injured and weapons looted.

Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi condemned the deadly attack on Friday, saying "it was an attempt by terrorist forces to derail the political road map."

However, the transition will be implemented "firmly," Beblawi added in a statement.

After the Friday prayer, Egyptian protesters began to flock to the main streets across the country, while the security forces fired tear gas to disperse Morsi's supporters to stop clashing with the local residents.

One pro-Islamist student was reportedly killed in the clashes between protesters and security forces in the Egyptian governorate of Dumyat, north of the capital Cairo.

Editor: yan
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