Cairo airport heightens security measures after police find two bombs: airport security

Egyptian members of the armed forces patrol outside al-Maza military airport where the bodies of the members of security forces who were killed in North Sinai province had been flown on Jan 30, 2015 in the capital Cairo. Cairo airport officials
Egyptian members of the armed forces patrol outside al-Maza military airport where the bodies of the members of security forces who were killed in North Sinai province had been flown on Jan 30, 2015 in the capital Cairo. Cairo airport officials heightened security measures on Tuesday, Feb 3, after police found two bombs in different terminals of the city's main airport, security sources there said. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (REUTERS) - Cairo airport authorities tightened security after finding two bombs near the arrivals hall and a homemade explosive device exploded in central Cairo on Tuesday, security officials said.

The target of the blast near a busy square in downtown Cairo was not immediately clear. Two people were lightly wounded, security sources said.

The bombs at the airport were detected with electronic devices early on Tuesday. Airport security officials were reviewing video footage to try and determine who planted the bombs, security sources said.

Islamist militants seeking to topple the government have carried out numerous bomb attacks on soldiers and police since the army toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July of 2013.

Last week, the Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for coordinated attacks in the Sinai Peninsula which killed more than 30 security personnel.

Egypt has been trying to project an image of stability ahead of an investment conference in the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in March that the government hopes will generate ventures worth billions of dollars.

The bulk of attacks on security forces have occurred in the Sinai, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip, but the insurgency has spread to other parts of Egypt, a US ally. Over the past year, police have frequently discovered homemade bombs planted near their vehicles and in public places in Cairo.

Political turmoil and militant violence after the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak have hammered tourism, a pillar of the economy.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as army chief toppled Mursi and then launched a security crackdown on Islamists, says Egypt is fighting a long, hard war against terrorism.

The state makes no distinction between the Sinai-based militants who have pledged allegiance to ISIS and the Brotherhood, which says it is committed to peaceful activism.