Explosion at police building in Greater Cairo slightly wounds 29

Ahram Online , Thursday 20 Aug 2015

The attack was claimed by Islamic State affiliate in Egypt, according to media reports

An Egyptian worker checks a hole believed to be caused by the bombing in the street outside the national security building early Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in the Shubra el-Kheima neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt (AP)

A huge car bomb explosion ripped through a state security building in Qaliubiya's Shubra El-Kheima district early on Thursday, injuring at least 29 people, including police, the interior ministry and state TV announced.

Shubra El-Kheima district, where the explosion took place, is located north of Cairo and is considered part of Greater Cairo. On social media, residents from around Cairo said the blast was very loud.

"A car exploded after the driver suddenly stopped in front of the state security building, exited the vehicle, and fled on a motorbike that was following the car," the interior ministry said in a statement.

The ministry reported that the explosion wounded six policemen. Another seven conscripts were injured in the attack, according to a security source.

In comments to state news agency MENA, a provincial health ministry official confirmed that the bombing has caused no deaths. The ministry also reported that most of the wounded sustained only minor injuries and have since been released from the hospital.

The explosion, the latest in a wave of militant attacks plaguing the country, caused severe damage to the four-storey building and tore down part of its perimeter wall. The blast blew facades off of nearby buildings and shattered the windshields of vehicles parked outside.

Egypt has been rocked by a series of bomb attacks primarily targeting policemen and security installations since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

According to media reports, Thursday's attack was claimed by Ansar Beit el Maqdis group,  an Islamic State affiliate in Egypt that has been spearheading a mounting two-year militant campaign.

In July, the group claimed a car bombing that targeted the Italian consulate in central Cairo and killed a civilian, the first such attack on a foreign mission since the insurgency swelled.

The group also claimed a similar massive car bombing in January 2014 that struck the Cairo Security Directorate, killing four people and causing serious damage to the building.

The bombing on Thursday comes three days after president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi signed off a counterterrorism bill that authorities say will boost their ability to combat extremists.

The law has been denounced by local and international rights campaigners who claim it is designed to stifle dissent and crush freedoms.

The government sought to pass the law after El-Sisi pledged tougher legal measures in July, following the assassination by car bomb of the country's top public prosecutor, Hisham Barakat--the highest ranking state official to be assassinated in years.


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