x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Egypt's interior minister survives car bomb attack

A car bombing targeted the convoy of Egypt's interior minister in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district today, security officials say.

CAIRO // A car bombing targeted the convoy of Egypt's interior minister in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district today, security officials said. The minister, Mohammed Ibrahim, survived the attack.

The officials said it was not clear whether the late morning explosion was caused by a suicide car bombing or an explosives-laden car detonated by remote control.

Egyptian state television only reported an explosion near the Nasr City residence of Ibrahim, who is in charge of the country's police force. It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured in the blast.

Nasr City is a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group from which ousted President Mohammed Morsi hails. It was also the site of a sit-in protest by his supporters that was stormed by police on August 14, killing hundreds.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Mr Morsi was toppled in a July 3 in a popular military coup that followed days of protests by millions of Egyptians who demanded his departure after a year in office. During the six-weeklong sit-in protest in Nasr City, many of Mr Morsi's supporters threatened to wage a campaign of violence against the military-backed government if he was not reinstated.

While there has been unrest and violence across Egypt since the coup, today's attack marked the first time a senior government official has been targeted.

Mr Morsi has been held in an undisclosed location since his ouster. Hundreds of Brotherhood leaders and supporters have been detained since the coup, including the group's supreme leader, Mohammed Badie, and his powerful deputy, Khairat Al Shater.