News / Middle East

2 Police Officers Killed in Bomb Blasts Near Cairo Palace

Police and explosive investigators stand with detectors while they search for possible bombs in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, June 30, 2014.
Police and explosive investigators stand with detectors while they search for possible bombs in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, June 30, 2014.
Reuters

Two Egyptian police officers were killed on Monday while trying to defuse makeshift bombs planted near Cairo's presidential palace by Islamist militants close to the anniversary of the army's overthrow of an elected Islamist president.

Radical Islamists have repeatedly attacked police and soldiers with bombings and shootings since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood denies any link to the violence.

The militant group Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, said it had planted several bombs near the presidential palace to target security forces before realizing that civilians could be in danger. It later released a statement saying it had been unable to remove the devices and urging passersby to be cautious.

“There are two explosive devices ... at the corner of the palace at the intersection of al-Ahram and al-Merghani streets”, read the statement that appeared on its Twitter account.

One police officers were killed as security forces tried to deactivate a bomb found at that location, and a second officer was killed during a similar operation in a nearby street, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Monday was the first anniversary of mass street protests against Morsi's rule that brought about his removal by the armed forces on July 3. The then-army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was elected president in May.

Thousands of Brotherhood leaders including Morsi and supporters have since been arrested, scores sentenced to death and hundreds more have been killed in a security crackdown on Egypt's oldest Islamist movement.

Eight people were hurt in a series of explosions last week on Cairo's metro, the first attacks in the capital since Sissi was sworn in as president.

'War against terrorism'

The security dragnet has since been expanded to include secular and liberal activists, including many who played leading roles in the 2011 popular revolt that ousted autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.

The right to protest has been sharply restricted by a law passed after Morsi's fall last year. Around 23 activists were arrested at the weekend over a rally in Cairo against the law.

Western governments and rights groups have voiced concern for freedom of expression in Egypt. The security clampdown has dimmed hopes for democratic evolution in Egypt that had soared after the anti-Mubarak uprising three years ago.

The jailing last week of three Al Jazeera journalists for seven years on charges of assisting banned Islamists caused an international outcry. Cairo rejected the condemnations as interference.

For the United States, concern over rights issues are balanced by the importance of Egypt as a strategic partner in the Middle East.

Sissi, who resigned from his post as army chief in order to run for president, has urged the United States to provide military equipment to Egypt in its campaign against militants.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said during a visit to Cairo earlier this month that Egypt would be given aid in the form of Apache helicopters to use against militants active in the Sinai Peninsula that borders Israel.  

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More