Islamic State affiliate claims Giza bomb blast

The Islamic State-affiliated terrorist group Province of Sinai has claimed responsibility for Thursday night’s bomb blast at a Giza apartment that killed at least six people, injuring about a dozen others.

According to a statement posted on a Twitter account associated with Province of Sinai, the group claimed responsibility for “the detonation of a residence laden with explosives as it was being raided by Egypt’s apostate officers and troops in Giza.”

The statement claimed that the explosion had “resulted in the demise” of 10 police officers, injuring 20 others.

It also claimed that the explosion had claimed the life of “the apostate” police officer Mohamed Amin, the chief of Haram Police Station’s investigative unit.

The statement differs from information supplied by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) on its official website. The ministry posted the names of addresses of five police officers said to have been killed.

This MOI statement did not list Officer Mohamed Amin as among the five police officers killed. According to its statement, the deceased included two middle-ranking policemen along with three in the lower ranks.

The MOI statement reported that the bomb blast took place at an apartment located on Libbini Street, in the Maryutiya district of Giza Governorate.

The ministry’s website announced on Friday that an official funeral service was held for the five “martyrs of national duty” at the Police Academy in New Cairo, presided over by Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.

Also on Friday, the MOI website posted photos of Ghaffar attending the Agouza Police Forces Hospital to visit police officers wounded in the incident “whilst conducting an operation targeting a terrorist den” used as a bomb-making workshop. The website does not mention the number of people killed and injured on Thursday.

A number of news sources have reported that the bomb-makers themselves were among the dead, and that several civilians were also caught in the blast. Citing MOI sources, the Reuters-affiliate, Aswat Masriya reported that a total of 13 individuals had been injured.

On Thursday night, some police sources accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being behind this deadly explosion. However, Brotherhood sources appear to be denying any involvement.

Quoting two Brotherhood leaders, local and foreign media outlets have reported that the Islamist group was denying any involvement in the incident.

Quoting Brotherhood leader Gamal Heshmat, the Anadolu News Agency reported that the incident was part of a police campaign to silence and arrest opponents of the Egyptian government ahead of the fifth anniversary of the January 25 uprising.

Thursday’s attack in Giza comes just one day after a deadly attack on police in the city of Arish, located in northeast Sinai. According to another statement on the MOI website, armed assailants opened fire on police at a checkpoint in Arish on Wednesday night, with seven police officers killed and several others injured in the attack.

Citing security and hospital sources in Rafah, located in northeast Sinai, Aswat Masriya reported on Friday that a child was killed and three family members wounded when a mortar shell landed on their home in southern Rafah.

Security sources told Aswat Masriya that militants had meant to target government forces in the area, but the mortar round hit a family residence instead.

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