News / Middle East

Attacks in Egypt Raise Tensions Ahead of Election

Egyptian security officials inspect a site hit by a bomb attack targeting a traffic security post near a court house in Cairo's Heliopolis district May 2, 2014. One Egyptian soldier was killed and at least seven more people wounded in two suicide attacks
Egyptian security officials inspect a site hit by a bomb attack targeting a traffic security post near a court house in Cairo's Heliopolis district May 2, 2014. One Egyptian soldier was killed and at least seven more people wounded in two suicide attacks
Edward Yeranian
Five people were killed Friday in attacks against Egyptian police and military targets, both in the capital Cairo and in the south Sinai.  The persistent violence since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July 2013 is creating some tension with under a month to go before Egyptians vote for a new president.

A fireman uses a shovel to pick through the charred wreckage of a burnt-out bus, following an attack by a suicide bomber near Egypt's south Sinai capital of Tor.  A passenger on the bus was killed in that attack, while a soldier was killed in a separate attack against a police checkpoint near the city.

The violence was relatively minor compared to a suicide attack that tore through security headquarters in Tor, last October.

Meanwhile, Egyptian police inspectors comb through potential evidence after another attack near a Cairo courthouse killed a policeman early Friday.  An injured policeman was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

A top security official told reporters after inspecting the crime scene in Cairo's Heliopolis district that “terrorists” were behind the attack.  He added that a homemade bomb was responsible for the blast.  No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday's violence.

In the port city of Alexandria, two people died in clashes between supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and local residents.

Egyptian reporters filmed a woman in a traditional black veil shouting and cursing the perpetrators of the Cairo attack, whom she called “traitors.”  She was carrying a portrait of former defense minister and top presidential candidate Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

Sissi appears to be the front-runner in the May 26 and 27 election, which pits him against leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi. Islamists accuse General Sissi of being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people since he led a popularly-backed military takeover from Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July.

Egypt's interim government issued a statement, declaring that Friday's “cowardly attacks will only increase the determination of the police and military....to continue their honorable battle to vanquish the dark forces of terrorism......and restore peace and security to Egypt.”

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