TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Bomb targets head of Egyptian police force

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, 7:57 p.m.
 

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa
  2. Surfer seriously injured in Australian shark attack
  3. WikiLeaks says U.S. spied on another ally: Japan
  4. 2013 death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar confirmed
  5. Former Omar deputy to lead Afghan Taliban
  6. Exiled Yemen leader orders anti-rebel fighters to merge with army to battle Houthis
  7. Debris on French island possibly that of missing Malaysia Airlines flight
  8. Buildings in West Bank settlement torn down by order of Israel’s Supreme Court
  9. Extremist strikes again in attack on gay parade in Jerusalem
  10. India hangs man who raised funds in support of 1993’s deadly Mumbai bombings