VDO & Pics: 19 Killed & Injured in Blast Near Tourist Area of Pyramids in Cairo

Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:21:11

A bomb attack has killed nine people including six police officers and injured 10 others near a road leading to the Egyptian pyramids in Cairo. The bomb went off as a police raided an apartment in the suburb of Giza.

The building was booby-trapped and the explosive device went off when a team of police bomb squad expert tried to defuse it.

Egypt government blamed Thursday's blast in the Al-Haram district on the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood movement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

'Police had information that a group of Muslim Brotherhood members were preparing to carry out aggressive acts in the coming days using explosives and crude bombs,' the ministry said on its Facebook page.

Militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police since the army toppled Morsi in 2013, following mass protests against his rule. The neighborhood of Al-Haram has witnessed several attacks and gunfights since the overthrow.

It is known to house many of Morsi's sympathisers and used to be a regular venue for clashes between his supporters and security forces in the aftermath of his ouster by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Daily Mail reports.

The district also houses several hotels frequented by tourists visiting Cairo, given its proximity to the pyramids.

The explosion on Thursday came ahead of Monday's anniversary of the Egypt 2011 revolution that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Security forces have questioned residents and searched more than 5,000 homes in central Cairo as a 'precautionary measure' to prevent street protests on the anniversary, security officials said on Thursday.

The ten-day search campaign was based on surveillance and intelligence gathered over months and focused on young, pro-democracy activists inside and outside the country, including foreigners.Security forces nationwide are bracing themselves for the anniversary of the revolt.

In central Cairo there has been a heightened police presence for days, with riot trucks and civilian cars carrying plainclothes officers prowling the streets day and night, often accompanying forces raiding apartments.

Officials, including the current president, have voiced concern over attempts to mark the anniversary with new protests, and security forces have arrested a number of activists accused of planning demonstrations.

The Cairo bombing comes after gunmen killed five policemen late Wednesday when they attacked a checkpoint in the North Sinai town of Al-Arish.

The socalled "Islamic State" group's Egyptian affiliate (IS /ISIL/ ISIS or Daesh in Arabic acronym), the Sinai Province or what they called Wilayat Sinai which acting in the past under the name of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis then Pledge of Allegiance to ISIS self-declared khalif Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, claimed that attack.


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