Bomb explodes near top court in Cairo

At least one has been killed and 11 wounded in the explosion: reports

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An explosion rocked outside the top court building in central Cairo on Monday, killing two people and wounding 11 others, the health ministry said.

An Interior Ministry statement said the bomb exploded under a car near the courthouse, wounding police and civilians. Health ministry spokesman Dr. Hossam Abdel Ghaffar later told Reuters that two civilians were killed and there were nine wounded.

Security sources said the public prosecutor, whose office is in the building, was inside at the time of the blast. They said he had since left to inspect the scene of the attack.

The latest attack came a day after two civilians died in a bombing outside a police station in southern Egypt.

Blood stains are seen on the ground as security officials inspect the scene of a car bomb blast in front of The High Court in downtown Cairo, March 2, 2015. (Reuters)
Blood stains are seen on the ground as security officials inspect the scene of a car bomb blast in front of The High Court in downtown Cairo, March 2, 2015. (Reuters)

A worker in a nearby cafe said he ran out to the street after hearing a loud explosion.

“I found three people lying on the ground covered in blood.”

Police sealed off the area and swept it with bomb detector dogs as ambulances tried to reach the site through a crowd of onlookers.

Militants have regularly set off bombs in the capital, mostly targeting police, after the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Mursi unleashed a deadly crackdown on his supporters.

It was the second time a bomb went off near the Supreme Court, after an explosion wounded 12 people last October.

Monday's explosion came days after a series of bombings in Cairo killed one person.

Five bombs struck within hours, four of them near mobile phone service companies and a police station.

Most of the bombings in the capital have been rudimentary and caused no casualties.

But several have killed policemen, including two senior officers who died while trying to defuse bombs planted outside the presidential palace last June.

Those bombs and several others that killed policemen in Cairo were claimed by the Ajnad Misr militant group.

Sinai Peninsula-based militants who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group have killed scores of soldiers and policemen since Mursi's overthrow.

The ISIS affiliate in Sinai set up branches in the Nile Delta, targeting police headquarters in Cairo and other cities before police killed and arrested most of their operatives last year.

Jihadists, who have focused their attacks on security forces, are also believed to be planning attacks on embassies of countries that have backed the former army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to officials.

Sisi was elected to office in May 2014 pledging to eradicate the militants, but he has had limited success, especially against the Sinai insurgency.

On Jan. 29, simultaneous car bombings and mortar attacks on security headquarters in the peninsula killed at least 30 people, most of them soldiers.

[With AFP]