Cairo bombing: Hasm Movement claims responsibility for explosion that killed six near Giza pyramids

Attack comes after months of bombings and shootings claimed by Isis in Egypt

Lizzie Dearden@lizziedearden
Friday 09 December 2016 14:31
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Egyptian emergency services carry a wounded victim at the site of a bomb attack next to a police checkpoint in the western Talibiya district of the capital Cairo on 9 December
Egyptian emergency services carry a wounded victim at the site of a bomb attack next to a police checkpoint in the western Talibiya district of the capital Cairo on 9 December

An emerging Egyptian terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed six security officers near the Pyramids of Giza on Friday.

The Hasm Movement said it was behind an explosion targeting a checkpoint on a main road near the tourist attraction in Cairo.

The blast struck near a mosque on Pyramids Road, the main avenue leading from the city centre out to the Giza pyramids, which is often used by tour buses, according to the state-run Mena news agency.

Egyptian explosives experts look for evidence at the site of a bomb explosion in Cairo, Egypt, on 9 December

The bombing appeared to have targeted two police vehicles parked along the road at a mobile checkpoint.

It completely destroyed one of the vehicles and severely damaged the other. Dozens of people gathered at the scene as police cordoned off the area.

The Egyptian interior ministry said two officers, a police officer and three conscripts were killed, with three more wounded.

The Hasm, or Hassam Movement, has claimed several recent attacks in statements circulated online, including the attempted assassination of Egypt's former Grand Mufti in August.

Friday's bombing came days after the interior ministry said police killed three Hasm Movement members in southern Egypt as part of efforts to break the group's cells.

The Islamist militant group first emerged in July, when it claimed the assassination of police chief Major Mahmoud Abdel Hamid, the Jane’s Information Group reported.

Isis’ Egyptian affiliate has been behind a string of similar attacks targeting Egyptian security forces over the past year.

In May, militants opened fire on a bus filled with plainclothes police in the Cairo suburb of Helwan, killing eight of them.

An explosive device also struck a police convoy in Cairo in October, killing a pedestrian bystander, and several shooting and grenade attacks have been launched.

Isis’ Wilayat Sinai faction is waging a long-running insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula and was behind the downing of a Russian passenger plane flying from Sharm el-Sheikh in October 2015.

Insurgent attacks have intensified since a 2013 military coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi, the democratically elected leader of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party.

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