25 Jan 2014

Deadly bombing wave hits Cairo

9:27 am on 25 January 2014

A wave of bomb attacks has hit the the Egyptian capital, Cairo, killing six people and raising fears an Islamist insurgency is gathering pace.

The attacks occurred on the eve of the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that forced the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Authorities have struggled to tame the insurgency which has been gaining momentum since the army toppled Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July.

A wave of blasts hit the Egyptian capital on the eve of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising.

A wave of blasts hit the Egyptian capital on the eve of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising. Photo: AFP

In the most high-profile attack, a suicide car bomber struck the Cairo Security Directorate, a compound housing police and state security, and killed at least four people.

Scores of people were wounded in a bombing outside the Cairo security headquarters.

Scores of people were wounded in a bombing outside the Cairo security headquarters. Photo: AFP

The blast twisted metal and shattered windows of nearby shops, Reuters reports. Wood and metal debris was scattered hundreds of metres around.

State television quoted witnesses as saying gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on buildings after the explosion. The Health Ministry said 76 people were wounded.

Another blast in the Dokki district killed one person. An explosion near a cinema on the road to the Pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo also killed led to one fatality.

Clashes in the capital and several other cities between supporters of Mohammed Morsi and security forces which killed 11 people also raised tensions in the biggest Arab nation.

Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi condemned the bloodshed in a statement, saying it was an attempt by "terrorist forces" to derail the army-backed government's political road map, which is meant to lead to free and fair elections.

Authorities have been bracing for more violence during the anniversary of Mubarak's fall, when rival political groups are expected to turn out, including supporters of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who ousted Mr Morsi, as well as members of the Muslim Brotherhood and liberals.

Security forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood members and jailed thousands more, including top leaders. The army-backed government has effectively removed the Brotherhood from politics and many Egyptians turned against it after Morsi's troubled one-year rule.