Bomb targets head of Egyptian police force
CAIRO — Egypt's interior minister escaped an assassination attempt on Thursday when a suspected car bomb struck his convoy in a Cairo neighborhood, in the first attack on a senior government official since the country's Islamist president was toppled in a coup two months ago.
The blast targeting Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police force, fueled concerns over a possible wave of violence in retaliation for the July 3 ouster of Mohamed Morsy and the ensuing crackdown on Islamists.
More than 20 people were wounded, including police and civilian bystanders, and some vehicles in Ibrahim's convoy were heavily damaged— though he was not hurt. Security officials said initial investigations showed it came from a parked car loaded with explosives in the trunk. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe was not complete.
The attack echoed the sort of insurgency-style methods that Islamic militants have increasingly used in Egypt's tumultuous Sinai Peninsula. Last month, militants there attempted a suicide car bombing but were killed by police before carrying it out.
The bombing harkened back to the insurgency waged by Islamic militants in the 1980s and 1990s against the rule of now-ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
At that time, militants targeted several senior officials, killing the parliament speaker and attempting to assassinate at least four successive interior ministers, the last in 1993. Mubarak himself survived an assassination attempt in 1994, when militants attacked his convoy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Some of Morsy's more hard-line supporters have publicly threatened to wage a campaign of assassinations and car bombings against officials of the military-backed government until the former president is reinstated.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
The Anti-Coup Coalition, which groups Morsy's Muslim Brotherhood and allied Islamist factions, condemned the attack, saying “it is against any violent act, even if it is against those who committed crimes against the people, because we aim to uphold the law.”
It warned that authorities will use the blast as a pretext to extend a state of emergency in place since Morsy's removal and to increase “oppression” and arrests of Islamists.
The explosion detonated in the late morning as Ibrahim's convoy passed through Nasr City, an eastern district of Cairo that is a stronghold of the Brotherhood. Among those wounded were 10 police and 11 civilians, including a 7-year-old child whose right leg was amputated, the security officials said.
A mangled body was found near the car believed to have been used as the bomb, and investigators were working to determine whether it was that of a bystander, a bomber or a lookout tasked with observing the convoy's approach, the officials said.
The blast left a main avenue in Nasr City strewn with charred skeletons of vehicles, and a fire in one expelled heavy black smoke. Nearby storefronts were heavily damaged, and windows of nearby apartment buildings were shattered.
Clearly shaken, Ibrahim said on state television that his black SUV was directly hit by a “large-size explosive device” that badly damaged it along with four other vehicles in the convoy.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Argentine President Fernandez: Late prosecutor Nisman had praised her
- Nigerian mob kills girl suspected to be suicide bomber
- Plane tracking may be more frequent as anniversary of missing flight nears
- Iraq opens museum of antiquities in defiance of Islamic State terrorists
- China slowdown spurs interest rate cuts
- Iranian ambassador unhurt in Libya blast
- 2 British ex-foreign ministers caught in sting
- Drone mystery hovers over Paris landmarks
- Islamic State reign of terror unabated in Syria
- Teacher turned notorious drug lord Gomez finally nabbed in Mexico
- Prominent Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov shot dead