CAIRO (AP) — An explosive device struck a police patrol in the Egyptian capital Friday killing one police officer and injuring nine others, as street battles broke out in a nearby district known as a hotspot for pro-Islamist demonstrations.
Egypt's Interior Ministry said that a police officer later died from wounds sustained in the attack on his patrol in eastern Cairo's populous Ein Shams district. One of the injured was a civilian, the ministry said. Egypt's official news agency MENA reported earlier that security forces sealed off the area, diverted traffic and deployed explosives experts to search for other bombs.
Egyptian militant group Ajnad Misr or Egypt's Soldiers said on its Twitter account that its members targeted the security force as they were heading to the nearby Alf Maskan district — a flashpoint for near-weekly clashes between security forces and Islamist demonstrators. Subsequent protests in the district were forcibly dispersed by police.
Demonstrations by supporters of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, ousted by the military in 2013, have largely waned amid a heavy security clampdown that has killed and injured thousands. In retaliation, Islamic militants have stepped up their attacks targeting mainly police and army soldiers — first in the lawless northeastern region of Sinai Peninsula, and more recently in the heart of Cairo — killing hundreds of policemen and soldiers.
While another Sinai-based militant faction, which recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group, has claimed responsibility for the country's deadliest attacks and suicide bombings, Ajnad Misr has regularly been carrying out less-deadly attacks that often target security forces heading to suppress demonstrations.