3 police officers killed in Cairo after device carried by militant explodes

Two policemen killed in Cairo explosion: interior ministry

Two policemen killed in Cairo explosion: interior ministry

The fatalities in the attack near the Khan el-Khalili bazaar in the heart of Cairo were all policemen.

In an apparent escalation of a severe crackdown against the news media under Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, officials in Cairo detained The New York Times correspondent David Kirkpatrick after he arrived Monday and held him incommunicado for hours before forcing him onto a flight back to London without explanation, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, said in a statement that the Cairo suspect was linked to a bombing on Friday near a mosque in the Cairo district of Giza, which wounded three people including a policeman.

The interior ministry said on Monday that security forces were pursuing the man in the search for the perpetrator of an attempted attack against a police patrol in western Cairo on Friday.

The area around the Al Azhar mosque is home to crowded markets and is a popular tourist destination.

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In a house nearby, police found a bomb and bomb-making material, which prompted the evacuation of the whole building, said the security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

At least three civilians were also wounded, including a Thai student who suffered light injuries, security sources said.

Security had been able to defuse that device, the ministry said. As defence minister, Mr El Sisi led the military's 2013 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood stalwart whose one year in office proved divisive.

The attacks have been mainly concentrated in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula but have also spread to the mainland.

Egyptian security forces launched a major anti-militant operation in February 2018 focused on the Sinai Peninsula, aimed at wiping out a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

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