ISIS claims responsibility for early morning Cairo bomb attacks

The attackers have been described as “soldiers of the caliphate” in Egypt.

Islamic State-affiliated militants in Egypt have claimed responsibility for a car bomb that exploded in front of security building in the country’s capital overnight

The attack left six police officers wounded.

The claim came in a message circulated on social media stamped with a logo reading “Islamic State, Egypt.”Isis insurgents based in Sinai have claimed a series of similar bombings in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt.

The blast occurred just before 2am close to the national security agency building in Shubra al-Khaima, a neighbourhood on the northern edge of the Egyptian capital. The sound of the explosion echoed across Cairo, rattling windows and waking residents miles from the blast.

Part of the building’s concrete facade was blown off, and adjacent apartment buildings were also damaged, with shattered windows and twisted metal railings dangling from balconies. Shattered glass was scattered across the pavement.

Egypt’s interior ministry said in a statement that a car had exploded outside the security compound. The assailant fled the scene on a motorcycle, it said.

The Isis message said the attack was in retribution for the “martyrs of Arab Sharkas” a reference to a group of six men who were hanged in May after being convicted in a military trial denounced by human rights groups as flawed.

According to their lawyer and relatives, three of the men could not have participated in the attack for which they were on trial and were already in custody when it was carried out.

The six men were also accused of belonging to Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the group that later declared itself to be the Sinai Province of the Islamic State when it affiliated with Isis.

There has been an increase in insurgent attacks in Egypt in recent months. In late June the country’s chief prosecutor was assassinated in a daylight bombing in the capital.

Last month, ISIS also claimed responsibility for a blast that killed one person outside the Italian consulate in the Egyptian capital.

The group on Thursday wasn’t clear about whether the militants who carried out Wednesday’s attack were part of its affiliated “Sinai Province,” or were part of a possible different branch that could be operating in and around the Egyptian capital.

It described the attackers as “soldiers of the caliphate” in Egypt.

Several militant groups no fewer than four have been carrying out violent assaults nationwide, predominantly targeting police and military outposts and personnel. Attacks escalated and spread in geographical reach following the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

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