CAIRO (AFP) – A bomb blast killed six people, including three Egyptian policemen, when a team of officers on Thursday raided an apartment in Cairo suspected to be a militant hideout, police said.
The explosion in the capital’s Al-Haram district, near the pyramids, came ahead of Monday’s anniversary of the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
“Six people have been killed in the blast, including three policemen. The others include a civilian and two unidentified men,” a police officer told AFP.
Fifteen other people were wounded.
Security officials said the impact of the explosion damaged part of the residential building housing the apartment.
The neighbourhood of Al-Haram has witnessed several attacks and gunfights since the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
It is known to house many sympathisers of Morsi and used to be regular venue for clashes between his supporters and security forces in the aftermath of his ouster by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The district also houses several hotels inhabitated by tourists visiting Cairo given its proximity to the pyramids.
On Jan 7, a gang of youths hurled fireworks and fired birdshot at police guarding a hotel in the area where Arab Israelis were staying.
No-one was hurt but the interior ministry said at that time that unknown assailants had gathered outside the hotel and carried out the attack.
Militants have regularly attacked policemen and soldiers since the army toppled Morsi.
The Cairo bombing comes after gunmen killed five policemen late Wednesday when they attacked a checkpoint in the North Sinai town of Al-Arish.
The Islamic State group’s Egyptian affiliate, the Sinai Province, claimed that attack.
The Sinai Province is spearheading an insurgency against security forces in the region, and has carried out deadly attacks in North Sinai as well as in other cities including Cairo.
Militants say their attacks are in retaliation for a brutal government crackdown targeting Morsi’s supporters that has left hundreds dead and thousands imprisoned.