Two roadside bombs wound policemen in Cairo

An Egypt militant group also claims killing police officer

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Two roadside bombs exploded near a passing patrol car in a Cairo suburb on Friday, slightly wounding one policeman, Agence France-Presse reported the Egyptian interior ministry as saying in a statement.

The attack came as Islamist supporters of ousted president Mohammed Mursi called for protests after the weekly Friday prayers.

An al-Qaeda-inspired militant group in Egypt also said it was behind this week’s assassination of a senior police officer in Cairo and a pipeline explosion in the volatile Sinai Peninsula.

In two separate statements posted late Thursday, the group says it assassinated Maj. Gen. Mohammed el-Said to punish Egypt’s military leaders.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or Champions of Jerusalem, also said it hit the pipeline Monday night south of the Sinai city of el-Arish as part of its war against the “Egyptian regime’s economy.”

The authenticity of the statements could not be independently verified but they were posted on websites commonly used by militants.

Egypt is facing a wave of bombings and shooting attacks by Islamic militants based in Sinai. The government has blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, saying it orchestrated the attacks.

Cairo has also been rocked by several bombings and shootings targeting police over the past week.

On January 24, a day before the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, a car bombing hit police headquarters, one of four bombs targeting the force in the capital.

Six policemen were killed that day.

Four days later, police general Mohamed Saeed, an aide to the interior minister, was killed outside his home by gunmen on a motorbike.

Supporters of Mursi, who was ousted by the army on July 3, have called for protests on Friday.

The military-installed authorities have launched a deadly crackdown on Mursi’s supporters, mostly Islamists, since his removal.

Rights group Amnesty International says that at least 1,400 people have been killed in the crackdown.

(With AFP and Associated Press)

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