11 wounded, one critically, in bomb blast near Egypt court: medics


CAIRO:  Eleven people were wounded, one critically, in a bomb explosion outside the Egyptian supreme court in Cairo on Monday, hospital officials said.

A police official and state media had said one man died but later retracted the information.

Hospital officials said the blast blew away part of his skull and brain, and he was in a critical condition.

The explosion appeared aimed at a police checkpoint near the court, a hospital official said.

The latest attack came a day after two civilians died in a bombing outside a police station in southern Egypt.

A worker in a nearby cafe in Cairo said he ran out into the street after hearing a loud explosion.

“I found three people lying on the ground covered in blood.”

Police sealed off the area and swept it with bomb detector dogs as ambulances tried to reach the site through a crowd of onlookers.

Militants have regularly set off bombs in the capital, mostly targeting police, after the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi unleashed a deadly crackdown on his supporters.

It was the second time a bomb went off near the supreme court, after an explosion wounded 12 people last October.

Monday’s explosion came days after a series of bombings in Cairo in which one person was killed.

Five bombs struck within hours, four of them near mobile phone service companies and a police station.

Most of the bombings in the capital have been rudimentary and caused no casualties.

But several have killed policemen, including two senior officers who died while trying to defuse bombs planted outside the presidential palace last June.

Those bombs and several others that killed policemen in Cairo were claimed by the Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) jihadist group.

The deadliest attacks since Morsi’s overthrow have been launched by the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Egypt, Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has killed scores of soldiers and policemen.

The organisation set up branches in the Nile Delta, targeting police headquarters in Cairo and other cities before a police crackdown last year.

Jihadists, who have focused their attacks on security forces, are also believed to be planning attacks on embassies of countries that have backed the former army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to officials.

Sisi was elected to office in May 2014 pledging to eradicate the militants, but he has had limited success, especially against the Sinai insurgency.

On January 29, simultaneous car bombings and mortar attacks on security headquarters in the peninsula killed at least 30 people, most of them soldiers.

AFP

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