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Egypt Bombings Target Police, 2 Dead

  • Elizabeth Arrott

People stand near a damaged car after explosions near Cairo University, April 2, 2014.

People stand near a damaged car after explosions near Cairo University, April 2, 2014.

Egyptian security officials say three bombs have exploded outside Cairo University, killing a senior police general and a civilian and wounding several others, including a number of top officers.

Security officials say two home-made bombs went off in quick succession Wednesday morning, hitting riot police stationed outside the university because of near daily anti-government protests by students. Cairo University

Cairo University

About two hours later, another, smaller bomb exploded in the same area.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility.

Security forces have been the target of frequent attack since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi last year and the continuing deadly crackdown on his supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood and others opposed to Egypt’s military-backed government.

The Sinai-based jihadist group Ansar Beit al Maqdis has claimed numerous attacks on police and military targets. Others appear to be carried out by less coordinated anti-government militants.

Officials frequently blame the Muslim Brotherhood, which the government has declared a terrorist organization and accuses of fomenting turmoil across the country since Morsi’s fall. The Brotherhood has denied the allegations.

Even before the bombings Wednesday, fears have grown that the crackdown on opposition could provoke a backlash, pushing once peaceful protesters toward militancy.

“Many Egyptians believe that many young people are going to join the forces of terrorism in the near future. As long as there is no open way for political participation, the substitute will be violence,” said Cairo political analyst and journalist Mohamed Abdella.

The judiciary has increasingly followed the government’s hard line on public dissent.

On Tuesday, a farmer who mocked the former military chief by naming his donkey Sissi and dressing it in a uniform was sentenced to six months in prison.
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