Checkpoint attack kills five Egyptian policemen

Attacks targeting security forces have become commonplace since the ouster of Islamist President Mursi last July

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Masked gunmen riding motorcycles killed five Egyptian policemen in an attack on a checkpoint south of the capital Cairo on Thursday, the Interior Ministry said.

The attack in the province of Beni Suef also wounded two policemen, and came two days ahead of the commemoration of the third anniversary of 2011 uprising.

“They opened fire heavily on the forces at the checkpoint,” Reuters quoted the ministry as saying.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Bombings and shootings targeting security forces have also become commonplace since Islamist President Mohammed Mursi was deposed by the army last July after mass protests against his rule.

The state has declared itself in a war on terror, and declared Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group on Dec. 25. The Brotherhood has said it remains committed to peaceful activism.

Meanwhile, an Islamist alliance backing Mursi called for 18 days of protests from Friday, as Egypt on January 25 marks three years since the revolt that ousted his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

The Anti-Coup Alliance said in a statement on Wednesday that protests will last until February 11, the day Mubarak stepped down in early 2011, after an 18-day uprising against his decades-old regime.

Saturday, the third anniversary of the 2011 revolt, promises to be a tense day.

(With Reuters and AFP)