Tuesday 24 April 2018

One killed in blast on Cairo bridge

People gather at the scene of an explosion that killed at least one person on a bridge over the Nile River in Cairo (AP)
People gather at the scene of an explosion that killed at least one person on a bridge over the Nile River in Cairo (AP)

A bomb blast on a bridge leading to an upscale neighbourhood in central Cairo has killed a policeman and wounded at least two passers-by, police said.

The bridge spans the Nile River connecting the Giza district to the wealthy island neighbourhood of Zamalek, where many embassies are located.

Dozens of people gathered at the scene, some yelling in outrage, others in fear or grief. Several cars were stopped in traffic with their windows blown out.

"All of a sudden a bomb exploded and there was lots of smoke," said Ahmed Hussein, an eyewitness who was on the bridge at the time of the blast and saw the policeman killed. "His body was torn apart," he said.

Major General Ihab Roushdy, deputy police chief in Cairo's western district, said a pick-up truck from outside of Cairo stopped near the policeman's post to ask directions, then the explosion killed him, wounded a man in the passenger seat and a woman who was climbing stairs up to the bridge.

"This will not break our will. We will continue to fight terrorism," Maj Gen Roushdy told reporters at the scene of the blast, as bomb squads combed the area and police cordoned it off.

Extremist group Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, claimed responsibility for the bombing in a message posted on a Twitter account it uses, the SITE intelligence group said. Security officials said they were aware of the claim and investigating.

Attacks mainly targeting Egyptian security forces have spiked since the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi following massive protests against his divisive rule.

The bombings in Cairo have mainly consisted of small, homemade explosives that cause few casualties. They have hit civilian areas, including Cairo's leafy Maadi suburb, where many foreigners live, but such incidents are extremely rare in Zamalek.

Last week Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility for another bombing in front of Cairo University that wounded eight people, including four police officers.

Another two bombs exploded yesterday, also nearby in Giza, leaving craters but causing no casualties.

Press Association

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