A bomb exploded on the western end of the 15th of May bridge early Sunday morning, killing one and injuring two others.
According to Ministry of Health spokesperson Hossam Abdul Ghaffar, Sunday’s explosion on the bridge into the upmarket neighbourhood of Zamalek took the life of a police officer in his thirties. The ministry added that the blast also injured two nearby civilians, both of whom suffered cuts to their faces.
The body of the deceased police officer, as yet unnamed, was taken to Agouza police station. The Ministry of Health’s statement corrected previous reports that more than two people were killed.
A representative from the Ministry of Interior’s press office confirmed the incident, but did not provide a specific number of deaths or injuries.
Some eyewitnesses reported on social media that it appeared that the device detonated from beneath the seat of a police officer’s covered seat. However, others reported that it was not clear whether the bomb was accidentally detonated whilst being carried en route to another location.
Bomb explosions have been a frequent occurrence since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Previously, explosives targeted only military and state facilities, but recently blasts have started targeting public spaces such as mobile phone network shops. Attacks in Cairo have taken place across many neighbourhoods, including central locations such as Downtown, Dokki, and Mohandiseen.
Militant group Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility for a bomb that injured eight people at the Cairo University metro station on 28 March.
Nariman, a female resident of Zamalek in her twenties, told Daily News Egypt: “Zamalek is now locked up, no-one on the streets. It used to be one of the most secure areas due to the presence of embassies, the houses of ambassadors and lots of foreigners.”
Nariman also commented that she cannot remember a time like this and heard the sound of a bomb across the Nile yesterday that scared her. The blast she referred to was a pair of improvised explosive devices that went off Saturday morning in front of Ahmed Orabi School, close to Imbaba police station in Giza.
Celia, a female foreigner living in the district, said that she was not expecting a blast to occur in Zamalek. However, she does not expect that matters will escalate to target residential areas, as most of the bombs target security facilities and personnel.
The Egyptian government’s ‘war on terrorism’ is mainly being played out in towns and remote areas of North Sinai, with militant Islamist groups usually claiming responsibility for attacks. However, a smaller-scale campaign of explosives and one-off shootings of officials is taking place across all regions of the country.
On 2 April, two bombs were dismantled in Beheira governorate. A day earlier, a bomb went off as it was being manufactured resulting in the death of three militants and the collapse of their house in Sharqeya. Last Monday, bombs struck outside the Civil Protection Headquarters in Alexandria, injuring two policemen. Drive-by shootings have killed security officials in Cairo and Fayoum governorates, among other locations.
Security expert Mahmoud Zaher told Daily News Egypt that the threat exists, although he agreed that the frequency of bomb occurrences is generally high but the effects are not “significant”.
Zaher added that the security situation is generally developing when looked at the state’s level.