A series of explosions outside Cairo University killed two people on Wednesday, including a police brigadier-general and a civilian – and wounded seven , three senior police officers and four civilians, security officials said, in what appeared to be the latest militant attack in a fast-growing insurgency.
The bombings targeted riot police routinely deployed at the location in anticipation of near-daily protests by students who support ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamist militants have carried out many similar operations against security forces since the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July after mass protests against him.
Egyptian state TV described the bombs as crude and homemade.
The insurgency threatens the security of the most populous Arab nation ahead of a presidential election in May – as well as the vital tourist industry on which Egypt relies for revenue.
Two bombs, planted among trees outside the university, killed the police officer and wounded five other security forces who had been guarding the facility, the ministry said.
Shortly afterwards, a third blast killed one person, four security officials said.
People screamed and ran for safety after the attacks as panic spread on the streets and on campus in an upmarket area near the zoo in Giza, a Reuters witness said. Police found a fourth bomb in the area.
“We expect trouble for the long term. How can the police protect us when they can’t even protect themselves. It is not possible,” said student Mohamed Abdel Aziz outside Cairo University after the explosions.
Video footage online showed a cloud of smoke hovering above a tree-lined roundabout. A loud blast is heard moments later.
Members of the security forces clad in black uniforms are shown moving away from the suspected site of the explosions and then advancing towards it with their weapons drawn.
Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the video, which was released by El-Youm el-Sabaa newspaper.
Source: Reuters and The Associated Press.