Bomb blast misses Alexandria security director; policeman killed

Africa
By Ahram Online

Alexandria - Egypt’s Alexandria security director survived an assassination attempt on Saturday that killed one policeman and injured four others in a bombing in central Alexandria that targeted the security director’s convoy, state TV reported. 

The interior ministry said in a statement that an improvised explosive device placed under a car detonated as the security director’s convoy was passing in El-Moaskar El-Romany Street.

Egypt’s prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek has ordered that the High State Security and Sidi Gaber prosecution inspect the scene and take statements from the injured.

The attack comes days before Egypt is set to hold the 2018 presidential elections, which will take place from Monday to Wednesday.

Egypt's interior ministry and army have been beefing up security nationwide ahead of the elections, where incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is facing the head of the Ghad Party Moussa Moustafa Moussa.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the Alexandria attack.

Saturday’s assassination attempt is the first against a security official since end of 2016, which witnessed a number of attacks that included a failed assassination attempt on a senior judicial official in September 2016, and the October 2016 assassination of an army brigadier general who had previously served in North Sinai, where the army’s war against terrorism is concentrated.

It is also the first major attack in the Mediterranean city since the April 2017 bombing of St Mark's Cathedral, which killed 18 people during Palm Sunday celebrations.

Egypt has recently witnessed a number of deadly terrorist attacks on civilians, the deadliest being an attack on worshippers at a North Sinai mosque in November 2017, which killed more than 300 people.

Nearly a month later, two gunmen killed nine people at the Mar Mina Church in Helwan, southern Cairo ahead of Coptic Christian celebrations in December.

Egypt launched Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 on 9 February, which targets “terrorist and criminal elements” and organizations in northern and central Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert.