Blast in downtown Cairo wounds 12

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 14, 2014 7:07 PM

CAIRO (Reuters) - A homemade bomb exploded near the Supreme Court in downtown Cairo on Tuesday night, injuring 12 people while also destroying a car and damaging some shop fronts, the interior ministry and security sources said.

It was not clear if a particular individual was targeted in the attack, the second in the Egyptian capital in less than a month. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Last month, a bomb blast near the Egyptian foreign ministry killed three policemen in the worst attack in central Cairo for months. Islamist militant group Ajnad Misr claimed that attack.

Egypt has faced rising Islamist militant violence since then army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last year after mass protests against his rule.

He has since cracked down on Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, which the government has declared a terrorist group. The Brotherhood says it is peaceful but Islamist militant groups, particularly in the remote but strategic Sinai have stepped up attacks against security forces in recent months.

The challenge of containing militants has become more complex since Islamic State fighters expanded their control over northern Iraq and eastern Syria in June and declared a caliphate, inspiring other groups including some based in Sinai and along Egypt's border with chaotic Libya.

While the casualties of Tuesday's blast were low. But any attack in the capital is bound to cause alarm and cast doubt over the effectiveness of Egypt's security forces, which have vowed to end the militant bloodshed that has hit tourism, a pillar of the economy.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Lin Noueihed, editing by Tom Brown)