BEIRUT

Middle East

Bomb kills police brigadier general in Cairo: security

Soldiers in military vehicles keep guard in front of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir square in Cairo April 19, 2014. Picture taken April 19, 2014. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

CAIRO: An Egyptian police brigadier general was killed Wednesday by a bomb placed under his car in Cairo, security officials said.

The killing of Ahmed Zaki in the capital's western suburb of October 6 was the latest in a spate of attacks by militants targeting the security forces since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July.

Zaki, killed in the fifth such attack targeting police in Cairo within a week, was a commander in Egypt's central security forces, who have been at the forefront of a wide-ranging crackdown on Morsi supporters.

He was the third police general to be killed in attacks since the start of the year.

A little-known jihadist group, Ajnad Misr, has claimed several attacks targeting police in the capital, and has vowed to launch more in retaliation for the crackdown on Islamists.

But the deadliest attacks in Cairo and other parts of the country, including the restive Sinai Peninsula, have been claimed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a jihadist group inspired by Al-Qaeda.

Official figures show that about 500 people -- mostly police and soldiers -- have been killed in bombings and shooting attacks by militants in Egypt since July, when the military toppled Morsi amid massive protests against his divisive year-long rule.

Amnesty International says more than 1,400 people have been killed in the police crackdown on Morsi supporters.

More than 15,000 Islamists, mostly from Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, have been jailed, while hundreds have been sentenced to death after often speedy trials.

 

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