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The New Arab

At least 9 killed in Cairo bomb blast

Nine people including four police officers were killed in the Cairo explosion [The New Arab]

Date of publication: 22 January, 2016

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An explosion in a residential apartment in the Giza governorate of Greater Cairo kills nine people including security forces and comes ahead of the anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
Nine people, including four Egyptian policemen were killed in a bomb explosion when a team of officers raided a residential apartment in Greater Cairo on Thursday.

The explosion in the El-Haram district of the Giza governorate, near the pyramids, came ahead of next week's anniversary of the 2011 revolution that ousted long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The bomb went off while the bomb squad tried to defuse it, killing and wounding members of the security forces and some civilians who were in the building, according to the interior ministry.

The ministry blamed the incident on the Muslim Brotherhood movement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

"Police had information that a group of Muslim Brotherhood members were preparing to carry out aggressive acts in the coming days using explosives and crude bombs," the ministry said on its Facebook page.

"This group was using an apartment in a Cairo building, and on Thursday night the police raided this apartment where they found a number of crude bombs.
When the bomb squad experts were dealing with one of the bombs, it exploded
- Egypt's interior ministry

"When the bomb squad experts were dealing with one of the bombs, it exploded killing three policemen, one civilian and two unidentified men."

The number of fatalities later raised to nine, including another police officer.
   
    Part of the building was destroyed [The New Arab]
Thirteen other people were wounded, the ministry said, after a police officer had put the number at 15.

Part of the residential building housing the apartment was damaged.
   
    Following the explosion [The New Arab]
Al-Ahram houses several hotels used by tourists visiting Cairo because of its proximity to the pyramids.

The Cairo bomb blast comes after gunmen killed five policemen late on Wednesday when they attacked a checkpoint in the North Sinai town of El-Arish.

The Islamic State group's Egyptian affiliate, Wilayat Sinai (Sinai Province), claimed that attack.

Security forces also diffused another homemade bomb near Mena Palace Hotel in El-Haram Street.

'Demometer'

Democracy Index (Demometer), an Egyptian civil society organisation, reported that 2533 violent and terrorist incidents occurred in 2015, in which 756 people died and 1433 were injured.

The "demometer," which was released on Wednesday, indicates that the state was involved in 14 percent of the violent incidents, while terrorism targeted Egypt's infrastructure and judicial and security institutions.

The North Sinai governorate witnessed most of the violence with 533 incidents.
The state was involved in 14 percent of the violent incident
- Democracy Index: Egyptian civil society organisation

The report pointed out that "despite the fact that the current Egyptian administration has used all the available resources for what it calls the war on terror, since 2013 to date, 2015 saw more than 2533 incidents of political violence and terrorism, an average of 211 incidents per month, and seven a day."

25 January anniversary

Morsi was Egypt's first freely elected president and succeeded Mubarak, who was driven from power after an 18-day popular uprising.

On Monday, Egypt marks the fifth anniversary of the anti-Mubarak revolt, and Sisi has warned against any form of demonstration on 25 January.

The Muslim Brotherhood has called for protests throughout January.

But its ability to mobilise supporters has diminished amid the blistering government crackdown that has seen several of its top leaders jailed and some sentenced to death and lengthy prison terms.

The interior ministry has warned against any "chaos" on Monday, and has boosted security across Egypt, including around the capital's iconic Tahrir Square - epicentre of the anti-Mubarak revolt.

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