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4 killed in wave of blasts in Egypt

English.news.cn   2014-05-03 00:54:57

CAIRO, May 2 (Xinhua) -- At least four people were killed and twelve others injured in three blasts that hit the Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and the capital Cairo on Friday, the Egyptian Health Ministry said in a statement.

Two blasts took place in South Sinai's El-Tur city. In one of them, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt blew himself up at a security roadblock, leaving two killed and five injured.

The second blast took place 30 km further from El-Tur, in the direction of Sharm El-Sheikh city, killing one and injuring four others. Official MENA news agency said that the second explosion targeted a bus and those injured were tourist workers.

The third blast hit a traffic kiosk outside Heliopolis court complex in eastern Cairo, leaving a police officer killed and three conscripts injured. Security sources said that a homemade bomb was behind the explosion.

Also on Friday, six militants were killed later in North Sinai while attempting to carry out a terrorist attack simultaneously with the attacks in South Sinai and Cairo, a security source said.

"The security forces chased and killed the militants who drove two vehicles carrying 14.5-inch anti-aircraft gun, two rocket- propelled grenades, an explosive device and a telescope," the source added, noting they belonged to Sinai-based al-Qaida- inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group.

Since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the army last July, a wave of explosions have targeted security men and their premises in the restive Sinai Peninsula, which lately extended to hit the capital, the Nile Delta cities and other provinces across the country.

A recent official report said that the death toll from such attacks has reached nearly 500, most of whom soldiers and policemen. Most of the attacks were claimed by Ansar Bayt al- Maqdis.

Attackers always said in their statements that their operations were in response to the massive security crackdown launched by security forces against supporters of the removed Islamist president.

Last August, the security forcefully disbanded two major pro- Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza, leaving nearly 1,000 killed and thousands others arrested.

The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hailed, was blacklisted by the interim leadership in late December as "a terrorist organization." Hundreds of its members and supporters, including the group's top leader Mohamed Badie, have recently been sentenced to death. The sentences have not yet been carried out and they are subject for appeal.

However, the constant pro-Morsi protests did not completely stop despite the crackdown and the newly-approved anti-protest law.

On Friday, two people were shot dead and three others injured in clashes during protests staged by Morsi's supporters in the coastal province of Alexandria.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the clashes erupted between Brotherhood "terrorists" and residents in Alexandria, noting the police arrested 42 Brotherhood loyalists in similar marches in Alexandria, Cairo, Giza and Fayoum.

Further, outside the hostel of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, violent clashes erupted between pro-Morsi students and security men after the former staged anti-government marches, shouting anti- military statements and demanding release of recently arrested students. No casualties have been reported so far.

Friday's blasts and protests came when the countdown is ticking for the country's first post-Morsi presidential elections slated for May 26 and 27.

The election commission on Friday officially announced ex- military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and leftist leader Hamdeen Sabahy as the only two presidential candidates.

Sisi's popularity has mounted since he led Morsi's removal last July, and he is expected to make an easy win over his leftist opponent.

Editor: yan
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