UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that officials involved in the investigation say early results show that a parked car was laden with explosives, and blew up when Mohammed Ibrahim’s convoy passed.
“A badly mangled body was found near the car, and investigators are working to determine whether it is that of a bystander, an attacker or a lookout tasked with giving word when the convoy passed, the officials said.”
CAIRO (TheBlaze/AP) — A car bomb rocked Cairo Thursday morning in Cairo’s eastern Nasr City district, officials said, targeting Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim. The minister avoided the explosion by “seconds,” an official told the New York Times.
Ibrahim himself is quoted as telling Reuters that the attack marks the start of “a new wave of terrorism,” and that, “what happened today is not the end but the beginning.”
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 Aug. 14, killing hundreds.
It was also the site of Egypt’s most famous assassination, Reuters reminds, when Anwar Sadat was killed by Islamists in 1981.
There has not been an immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which the Associated Press reports has injured at least 22 people, including two policemen and a child seriously. No fatalities have yet been confirmed.
Reports have conflicted in the immediate aftermath of the attack about how exactly it was carried out, and it is not yet clear whether the explosion was caused by a suicide car bombing, or an explosives-laden car detonated by remote control.
Egypt has seen massive unrest since former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled in a military coup on July 3, following days of protests by millions of Egyptians who demanded his departure after a year in office. During the six-week sit-in protest in Nasr City, many of Morsi’s supporters threatened to wage a campaign of violence against the military-backed government if he was not reinstated. Far from being reinstated, the protesters were forcibly dispersed, and more than a thousand protesters have been reported killed.
Thursday’s attack marks yet another sharp escalation in the violence, and the first time a senior government official has been targeted since the coup.
Morsi has been held in an undisclosed location since his ouster. Hundreds of Brotherhood leaders and supporters have been detained since he was removed from power, including the group’s supreme leader, Mohammed Badie, and his powerful deputy, Khairat el-Shater.
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