A policeman was killed on Wednesday in a drive-by shooting in southern Egypt, state news agency MENA reported, the latest in a wave of attacks targeting the country’s police and troops.
Unknown assailants opened fire on a security checkpoint in the northern part of Minya, killing the driver of a police vehicle and injuring an officer, according to provincial security head Osama Metwalli.
Security forces were combing the area in search of the culprits.
Also on Wednesday, a security official denied initial reports of an improvised bomb in Gharbiya’s city of Kafr Al-Zayat, northwest of Cairo. Osama Bedir told state news agency MENA that the minor explosion happened when a worn out battery of a motorcycle caught on fire.
The explosion was initially reported to be an improvised bomb, according to Al-Ahram, citing security official Osama Bedir.
However, Bedir later denied that the explosion came from a bomb, telling state news agency MENA that it occurred when a worn-out battery of a motorcycle caught on fire.
Egypt has been rocked by a deadly Islamist insurrection, based in North Sinai, which has killed hundreds of police and military personnel since mid-2013.
Bombings and shootings have also targeted mainland cities including the capital Cairo and the Nile Delta, causing civilian casualties.
On Sunday, six members of Egypt’s security forces were killed in a roadside bomb in the North Sinai town of Al-Arish.
Late last week, three policemen were killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Sinai, and 11 others were injured in a bomb attack on a religious festival in the Nile Delta city of Tanta.
The challenge to combat militant violence is compounded by the rise of Islamic State militants who have seized large territories of Syria and Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate.
Egyptian officials are concerned the group has inspired or established links with militant groups in Egypt, including those based in the borderlands of the Sinai Peninsula.
Source : Ahram online