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Bomb at Checkpoint in Cairo Area Kills 6 Police Officers

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Deadly Blast in Cairo

A bomb exploded on Friday at a security checkpoint on the outskirts of Cairo, killing six police officers and wounding three others.


By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS and REUTERS on Publish Date December 9, 2016.


Photo by Khaled Elfiqi/European Pressphoto Agency.

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CAIRO — A bomb ripped through a security checkpoint on the outskirts of Cairo on Friday, killing six police officers and wounding three others, officials said, in the latest in a series of deadly attacks this year.

The bomb detonated next to a large mosque in Cairo’s twin city, Giza, less than two hours before hundreds flocked to the area for Friday Prayer.

The militant group Hasm, or Decisiveness, which has claimed responsibility for previous attacks at Egyptian security checkpoints, said it had carried out the bombing. The claim could not be verified.

Militants have frequently targeted Egyptian security forces since the military ousted the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013 and subsequently killed hundreds of his backers.

Thousands of supporters of Mr. Morsi’s opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, have been jailed, and many others have become radicalized, rights groups say.

Egyptian officials have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being behind Hasm, although most Brotherhood leaders are in prison and the movement has officially denied any ties to militancy.

The worst violence in Egypt this year has taken place on the Sinai Peninsula, where an Islamic State affiliate has been fighting the military for more than three years.

Attacks in cities, mostly targeting judges and police officers, occur less frequently and the identities of those responsible are often unclear.

Egypt’s top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, killed in a car bombing in June 2015, is the most high-ranking official to have fallen victim to the violence. In September this year, explosives in a car nearly killed a senior assistant to Mr. Barakat’s successor.

The attack on Friday occurred in the Talbiya neighborhood, which has long been associated with Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. The checkpoint was on the main road to the Giza pyramids, one of Egypt’s most famous tourist attractions.

Talbiya “has been a source of worry many times before,” said Tarek Attiya, a police spokesman. Had the bomb gone off a few hours later, “there would have been many casualties,” he added.

A video released by the state-run news media showed police officers dressed in black cordoning off the area. Interior Minister Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar has assigned a team to investigate the attack, local news reports said.

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