News / Middle East

Egypt Bombings Target Police, 2 Dead

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.
Elizabeth Arrott
— 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 UniversityCairo University
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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.
 
  • After a series of explosions rocked Cairo University, friends and relatives grieve for the wounded or slain, Cairo, Egypt, April 2, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
  • People use a stretcher to transport the body of a police officer who was killed in explosions near Cairo University, April 2, 2014.
  • The body of slain Police Brigadier General Tariq al-Mirjawi is carried out of the Agouza Police Hospital after a series of explosions hit Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, April 2, 2012. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
  • Security forces stand guard at the scene after multiple explosions hit the area outside the main campus of Cairo University, April 2, 2014.
  • People stand near a damaged car after explosions near Cairo University, April 2, 2014.
  • A woman is escorted out of the site of multiple bombings outside the main campus of Cairo University in Giza, near downtown Cairo, April 2, 2014.
  • Grieving friends and relatives gather outside the Agouza Police Hosptial after a series of explosions at Cairo University left many dead or wounded, Cairo, Egypt, April 2, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)

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