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Deadly bombings target Egyptian police outside Cairo University

English.news.cn   2014-04-03 04:50:10

CAIRO, April 2 (Xinhua) -- A new extremist Islamist group called Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) has claimed responsibility for a series of blasts that rocked the area outside Cairo University on Wednesday.

"The three explosive devices that targeted the criminal security authorities are among a retaliation campaign," the group said in the statement, attributing the reason behind the attacks to "the increasing arrest campaigns" against Islamist women.

The group is believed to be among the supporters of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the military last July following mass protests against his one-year rule.

Meanwhile the government held an urgent security meeting on Wednesday to discuss the security situation after recent terrorist attacks. The meeting decided to present an anti-terrorist legislation to the cabinet on Thursday to enhance security around universities and to condense police and military patrols.

Earlier on Wednesday twin blasts targeting police posts outside Cairo University killed the head of Giza's security headquarters and injured five others, including an assistant interior minister. A third bomb went off near the campus' main gates with no casualties reported.

Just hours before the blasts, security forces arrested seven suspected members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and found 11 bombs and various automatic weapons in their possession, according to state-run al-Ahram newspaper.

The three blasts hit the security posts outside the university in Nahda square, one of the main sit-in venues for Morsi supporters.

A security source said that "primitive bombs" were behind the blast that aimed to assassinate the security chiefs at the scene.

The bombs were concealed in trees surrounding the campus' main gate between two small police posts. Online footage of the bombings showed policemen running out from a cloud of smoke and dust sent up by the first explosion.

Security forces halted traffic and sealed off streets leading to the university with barbed wires after the incident.

Meanwhile, the dean of Cairo University said the blasts have not "affected the educational process," as other gates were still open for students.

Cairo University has been the scene of intense clashes between security forces and students who believe Morsi's ousting was a " coup." Since the start of the school year, Egyptian universities have witnessed violent confrontations that have led to the detention of hundreds of students and the deaths of several others.

Security conditions have further worsened since Morsi's ouster last year, especially after the interim government blacklisted his Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist organization" in late December.

The crackdown on Morsi supporters last August left more than 1, 000 people killed and thousands others detained in prisons, including Morsi and top leaders of the Brotherhood. Since then a wave of bombings targeting security forces and their posts have hit the restive Sinai Peninsula. Recently the bombings moved to the capital and the Nile Delta cities. A recent government report said that nearly 500 people, mostly soldiers and police, died from such attacks.

The army has launched a large-scale operation to uproot the " criminal hideouts" in the Sinai. The al-Qaida-inspired Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group has claimed responsibility for many of the attacks against security forces.

Wednesday's blasts come less than a week after former military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the ousting of Morsi, announced his intention to run for president after tendering his resignation as a defense minister. Sisi has vowed to "uproot terrorism" in the country if elected.

Editor: yan
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