A bomb killed a police officer and wounded two civilians at a police booth on a main bridge over an affluent island in the Nile on Sunday, raising new fears that militants were targeting even the most secure parts of Egypt’s capital.
The blast was the latest in a long series of attacks aimed at security forces or business interests, but it appeared to be the first to hit the island district of Zamalek, an enclave of embassies, foreign residents and the Egyptian elite. The explosion took place in midmorning on one of the most heavily trafficked arteries of the city. The death and injuries were reported by bystanders and the official state news media.
Ajnad Misr, a militant Islamist group whose name means Soldiers of Egypt, claimed responsibility for the attack in a message on Twitter.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who led the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, now faces two kinds of militant opposition. An increasingly sophisticated campaign of attacks on security forces by Islamist insurgents based in North Sinai has killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers, and 13 more were killed along with two civilians in two dawn assaults on checkpoints in Sinai on Thursday. Those insurgents have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Ajnad Misr is a smaller but allied group that has claimed responsibility for several police killings in Cairo.
The other militants appear to be more amateurish, and they operate under the banners of newly formed groups with names like Revolutionary Punishment or the Popular Resistance. In addition to small attacks on the police, these militants have singled out businesses and the electrical infrastructure, declaring in their online statements that they are going after the corporate backers of the military takeover.