Two Egyptian police officers were killed after two bombs exploded near the presidential palace in the capital city of Cairo on Monday, just days shy of the anniversary of former president Mohamed Morsi’s ejection from office.
According to a statement from Egypt’s Interior Ministry, a police colonel was killed when a bomb that security forces were trying to defuse suddenly detonated. Several others were wounded in the blast.
News footage of the first explosion in Cairo on Monday.
After the first explosion, police were cordoning off the scene and attempting to defuse a second bomb when it also exploded. A lieutenant colonel was killed, while several police officers were injured. An emergency worker on the scene was also injured.
A third bomb was later moved out of the area by a robot and successfully defused.
The BBC reported that General Alaa Abdel Zaher, Egypt’s bomb-disposal department head, was injured in the bombing incident.
Local news footage of the aftermath shows streets filled with smoke and people carrying the wounded to ambulances. Emergency workers, security forces, and civilians swarm the scene, some with blood on their clothing.
Last week, the Islamist militant group Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) revealed it had placed bombs in the area. The group — which declared that it would attack government targets when it emerged in January — sought to harm security forces, but it had a change of heart after fearing that the bombs would injure civilians.
In a statement released on June 27, Ajnad Misr said that it was unable to remove the bombs and warned people to be cautious around the area where they had been planted.
According to the Egyptian government, militants in the country have killed nearly 500 police officers since Morsi’s removal from office on July 3, 2013.
Eight people were injured in a separate attack on June 25 after five bombs went off at metro stations in Cairo. It was the first attack since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s inauguration earlier this month. Two more people were killed this past Saturday after a bomb exploded in a telecommunications tower.
It was unclear whether a rally set to be held in the area on Monday evening would go on as scheduled. The celebration is intended to mark the first anniversary of protests calling for Morsi’s ouster that began last year.
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