Gunmen kill six army officers near Cairo

Gunmen kill six army officers near Cairo
Sat Mar 15, 2014 16:09:43

Six Egyptian army officers have been shot dead by gunmen at a Cairo checkpoint, security sources have said.

The attack, which occurred Saturday morning, is the second on Egyptian security forces in three days.

Egypt’s military has blamed both attacks on the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood due to its affiliation with Egypt's military-ousted elected President Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt has been hit by growing dissent and militancy that has mostly targeted the police and army forces since the military overthrew Morsi in July. Nearly 300 Egyptian security officers have been killed in the wave of violence.

Saturday's attack on a military police checkpoint was carried out by unidentified gunmen who then fled, according to state media. A senior security source told state TV that two bombs found near the checkpoint had also been defused.

The army released a statement shortly after the incident, blaming the Brotherhood for the attack. However, the movement's leader Amr Darrag denied the accusation.

"I condemn the killing of Egyptian soldiers. How can the Muslim Brotherhood be accused a few minutes after the attack with no evidence or investigation," he said on Twitter.

The military-backed government condemned the attack and said it was determined to combat militant attacks.

Analysts expect attacks on security forces to increase in the coming months when a presidential vote is due to take place. The country's military chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to become the nation's next president with the backing of the interim, military installed government.

Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for a series of high-profile attacks on senior security officials, including an assassination attempt on the interior minister last year.

The checkpoint raid on Saturday came two days after an officer was killed in an attack on an army bus which the military also blamed on the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood, which says it is committed to peaceful activism, condemned that attack and accused the government of trying to implicate it for political reasons.

Morsi, other Brotherhood leaders and hundreds of Islamist activists have been jailed pending trial over what the government alleges as violence-related crimes.


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