Reuters – Egypt’s interior minister survived an assassination attempt today when a bomb blew up as his convoy drove through Cairo’s Nasr City district, state media and security officials said.
Security sources said at least two people were killed and at least 10 injured, but the minister, who lives in Nasr City, just outside the city centre, was not hurt.
The minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, has been among those responsible for a violent crackdown on supporters of Mohammed Morsi, the Islamist president ousted two months ago by the army following mass protests against his rule. Ibrahim said the attack was “not the end but the beginning” of a new wave of terrorism, but that the authorities would win out.
Ibrahim said this week that he had been informed of plans to kill him, and that “foreign elements” were involved. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, head of the armed forces, had supplied him with an armoured car identical to the one he uses, he said.
The security sources said a bomb had exploded near his convoy. The state-run Nile TV reported that Ibrahim had survived an assassination attempt. Initial reports suggested the device had been a car bomb but state TV later reported that it had been thrown from a building.
Ibrahim said the “despicable attempt” on his life had destroyed four of his bodyguards’ vehicles. He said one police officer was in critical condition, and that another officer and a small child had lost their legs.
“Many of my guards were injured,” he said, adding that investigations had shown the blast had been detonated remotely. Armed security forces quickly sealed off the area, where blood and pieces of flesh were scattered on the ground. A number of cars were damaged and the windows of adjacent buildings smashed.
“I was standing by a kiosk when police officers came and told me to make way as the minister’s convoy passed. I moved a few inches, then I heard a huge explosion sound,” said local resident Mohamed Raafat
“I looked behind and I saw remains of dead bodies and was told that a car that was parking had exploded near the convoy.” The military-backed government that took over from Morsi has killed hundreds of supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood, which it accuses of inciting violence and committing terrorist acts, and arrested most of its top leaders. Around 100 members of the security forces have also been killed.
The Brotherhood denies the allegations and accuses the army of staging a coup and trying to return Egypt to the repressive era of former president Hosni Mubarak. It says it is committed to peaceful resistance.
Egypt faced an Islamist insurgency in the 1990s, when bombing and shooting attacks destabilized the country and hurt tourism.