Police discover new bomb at al-Darb al-Ahmar explosion site

File Egyptian policemen at the site of a bomb explosion in Cairo Egypt December 2016

File Egyptian policemen at the site of a bomb explosion in Cairo Egypt December 2016

The suicide bomber blew himself up on Monday in Darb Al-Ahmar as police were attempting to arrest him, killing three policemen and injuring others.

The explosion in the Gamaliya district was a rarity for a central area of the capital, after progress from a security crackdown under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Three police officers were killed and three wounded when an explosive device carried by a man they were pursuing detonated in the heart of Cairo on Monday, an interior ministry statement said. A body, presumably of the attacker, covered with a white sheet stained with blood, was seen lying on the ground in the blocked-off area, close to Egypt's renowned Al-Azhar mosque.

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.

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According to the ministry, security forces were pursuing the man as part of the search for the perpetrator of an attempted attack against a police patrol in western Cairo on Friday. 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.

On Saturday, the Egyptian military said 15 of its personnel had been killed in a clash in North Sinai in which seven militants were also killed.

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