CAIRO- Gunmen killed five soldiers at a Cairo checkpoint Saturday in a brazen morning attack the military blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood movement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
The attack came two days after gunmen killed a soldier in Cairo, as militants once largely confined to the restive Sinai Peninsula increasingly target the capital in a campaign that has killed more than 200 police and soldiers since the army overthrew Morsi last July.
The assailants on Saturday opened fire on military policemen as they finished their morning prayers and then planted two bombs to target first responders, the military said in a statement.
The soldiers appeared to have had little opportunity to defend themselves. “They were praying,” army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali told AFP.
Live television footage showed military sappers safely detonating one of the bombs near the checkpoint in the northern Cairo neighborhood of Shubra al-Kheima.
An Egyptian private television station quoted an interior ministry official as saying one of the bombs left behind was planted next to a soldier’s corpse.