Nine wounded in Cairo explosion

Published February 13th, 2015 - 02:18 GMT

A bomb blast wounded eight police officers and one civilian in the Cairo neighborhood of Ain al-Shams, Egypt's Interior Ministry said on Friday.

The wounded included a police captain. A bomb squad was combing the area for other possible explosives, a ministry statement said.

According to the ministry, an explosive device went off as a security patrol was passing in Shams district in eastern Cairo.

The attack was claimed by the "Ajnad Masr" group (Soldiers of Egypt), which was labeled a "terrorist" organization by an Egyptian court last May.

Egypt is battling an Islamist insurgency that has targeted soldiers and police officers since the army led the summer 2013 removal of President Mohammed Mursi.

While most of the worst attacks on army and security forces have hit the Sinai Peninsula, a remote but strategic region bordering Gaza, Occupied Palestine and Egypt's Suez Canal, smaller blasts and attacks have become increasingly common in Cairo and other cities.

Islamist militants in Egypt say their attacks are in response to the brutal suppression on Mursi supporters and the Muslim Brotherhood members. The Brotherhood has reportedly denounced any assault on police and army members.

Since Mursi’s overthrow, the government has violently clamped down on the Muslim Brotherhood, designating it as a “terrorist organization,” a charge the Islamist group vehemently denies.

The military crackdown has killed more than 1,400 Brotherhood supporters, most of them within hours when police broke up two pro-Mursi camps in Cairo during the summer of 2013.

More than 15,000 Mursi supporters are also imprisoned, while dozens have been sentenced to death after speedy trials which the United Nations has denounced as "unprecedented in recent history.”

The army crackdown has not been limited to Islamists in the north African country. Secular activists, as well as leftists, were targeted by the government suppression.

On January 24, a member of the Socialist Popular Alliance party Shaima al-Sabbagh was shot dead during the dispersal of a small rally in downtown Cairo near Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of the revolt that ended Hosni Mubarak's 30 years of rule. Her death has sparked up outrage over what they see as Egypt’s growing crackdown on dissent.

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