CAIRO, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Two gunmen on a motorbike shot down a senior Egyptian Interior Ministry official near his home in Giza governorate, official news agency MENA reported on Tuesday.
The accident came a few hours before ousted president Mohamed Morsi appeared at a courthouse for trial over breaking out prison during the 2011 uprising that toppled his predecessor Hosni Mubarak.
The gunmen shot the security official in the head and chest, and then fled the scene. Mohamed Saeed died later in a hospital, MENA added.
Witnesses said the attackers were in their late 20s, and that they opened fire 200 meters away from the major general's house.
The accident came in a surge of attacks by Islamist hardliners against police and army officers following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July.
Last September, Interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim survived an assassination attempt. Also, Mohamed Mabruk, a police officer of the National Security Service responsible for the Brotherhood issue, was killed last November.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based al-Qaida-inspired group claimed responsibility for the recent terrorist attacks.
Last week, six people were killed in a wave of bomb attacks targeting policemen in Cairo and a Sinai-based militant group brought down an army helicopter with a missile, killing five soldiers.
MENA reported that a home-made primitive explosive device was found on Tuesday in a black bag in the vicinity of the High Court House near Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, where supporters of Morsi protested, but explosive experts managed to defuse the bomb.
Militant groups based in the restive Sinai Peninsula have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since Morsi's downfall. Unknown assailants blew up a natural gas pipeline in the North Sinai city of Arish on early Tuesday, an official source said, adding no casualties were reported, but the explosion cut gas supplies to Sharm el-Sheikh and Taba cities.
The violent acts came one day after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces gave Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the ouster of the first Islamist elected president, a green light to run for president.
Sisi is expected to announce his candidacy in the coming few days. Tens of thousand of Egyptians took to the main squares across the county on Saturday urging the top military leader to take the mandate.