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      Blast Targets Cairo Police Hours After Raid That Killed Egyptian Militant Leader

      Blast Targets Cairo Police Hours After Raid That Killed Egyptian Militant Leader Blast Targets Cairo Police Hours After Raid That Killed Egyptian Militant Leader Blast Targets Cairo Police Hours After Raid That Killed Egyptian Militant Leader
      Photo via AP

      Middle East

      Blast Targets Cairo Police Hours After Raid That Killed Egyptian Militant Leader

      By Gillian Mohney

      An explosion Sunday in Cairo killed one police officer and wounded at least two civilians, with the blast apparently coming in retaliation for the death of the leader of an Egyptian militant group in an early morning raid.

      The deadly attack occurred at a police checkpoint on a bridge that connects the island neighborhood of Zamalek, which houses multiple embassies and foreigners, to the rest of the city. The group Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist activity online.

      "God has enabled our brave soldiers to plant an IED where the criminal (security) services were gathered on the bridge," Ajnad Misr's media wing said on Twitter, according to Reuters.

      The bombing came just hours after Egyptian security forces killed Hamam Mohamed Attia, the founder and head of Ajnad Misr. According to Reuters, Attia was shot and killed at around 1am in Cairo's Giza neighborhood. The Associated Press reported that police found weapons in explosives in the raid on Attia's apartment. 

      Ajnad Misr claimed a bombing last week at Cairo University that injured eight people.

      The explosion Sunday blew the windows out of several cars nearby and left a large crater in the road, according to the AP. An eyewitness reported seeing a mangled body in the back of a truck.

      "All of a sudden a bomb exploded and there was lots of smoke," Ahmed Hussein told the AP. "The soldier in the kiosk was killed. His body was torn apart."

      Maj. Gen. Ihab Roushdy, deputy police chief in Cairo's western district, told the AP that the explosion occurred after a car slowed down at the police kiosk under the guise of asking for directions.

      Video from the aftermath of the bombing showed blood in the street and dozens of people gathered around the blast site. 

      In addition to the Cairo University bombs, two bombs exploded Saturday in Giza, though no injuries were reported in those blasts, according to the AP.

      Meanwhile, in Egyt's Sinai Peninsula, militants have killed hundreds of soldiers and civilians in recent months. Last Thursday, at least 13 soldiers and two civilians were killed in coordinated attacks at checkpoints on the Peninsula, according to the New York Times.

      Last week, the US agreed to release military funding to Egypt that was cut off in 2013 when Egypt's democratically elected government was overthrown. Egypt recently took the lead in a plan to create a joint military force with other Arab League states to combat the Islamic State and other militant groups across the Middle East.

      Topics: egypt, arab league, cairo, sinaï, penninsula, islamist extremists, islamic state, suicide attack, middle east, ajnad misr

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