Egyptian security officials inspect the scene of the bomb blast targeting Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim near his home in Nasr City, Cairo, yesterday. It was the first such attack in Egypt since the 1990s.
CAIRO: Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim escaped an assassination attempt yesterday when a car bomb blew up next to his convoy and gunmen strafed his vehicle, prompting him to warn that a wave of terrorism by opponents of the military-installed government was just beginning.
Ibrahim has been involved in overseeing a crackdown on supporters of Mohammed Mursi, the elected Islamist president overthrown on July 3 by the army following protests against his rule.
No organisation claimed responsibility for the first attempt to kill a minister since the 1990s. “It is likely that it was a suicide explosion as a result of a high explosive device,” a ministry statement said, adding 21 people, including 10 policemen, were injured.
Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood condemned the attack. The ministry said the blast damage indicated that a 50kg bomb had been used. Footage posted on YouTube showed a vehicle ablaze as shots rang out for three minutes. A distant, unidentified voice could also be heard shouting “Allahu Akbar! (God is Greatest!)”
A government video showed bullet holes all along the side of a white car identified as Ibrahim’s, and security sources said police had killed two attackers.
They said the ambush began seconds after Ibrahim left his home in the capital’s Nasr City on his way to work. A car driving ahead of the convoy exploded and the minister’s armoured vehicle also came under heavy gunfire.
Ibrahim said this week he had been told of plans to kill him and that “foreign elements” were involved. Armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi gave him an armoured car, he said. Agencies