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Cairo tightens security after chain of blasts in Egypt’s capital

January 24, 2014, 13:52 UTC+3 CAIRO
At lest 5 people were killed and up to 60 injured in three separate blasts that rocked the Egypt's capital on January 24
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/Amel Pain

CAIRO, January 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Police tightened security measures in Cairo on Friday after three blasts aimed at law enforcers rocked the Egyptian capital since early morning leaving at least five killed and up to 60 wounded.

The first and the most powerful blast occurred shortly after six in the morning, when a suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden truck near police headquarters in central Cairo. Four people were reported killed and over 50 wounded in the blast, which left a deep crater in the road and badly damaged nearby multi-story building and the Islamic Museum.

After the explosion, which according to Reuters witnesses followed by gunfire, two more explosive devices targeting police were reported in Cairo. One of them took place near Tahrir Square, killing at least one and wounding eight more, and the other in the Talbeya neighborhood in Giza. There was no immediate information available on casualties in the third blast.

Police beefed up security measures across the Egyptian capital, particularly setting up additional checkpoints on the roads, and enhancing security at the Cairo International Airport.

According to Al-Arabiya reports, riot police also had to push away hundreds of onlookers, who gathered near the scene of the first explosion, chanting slogans against Muslim Brotherhood movement.

An al-Qaeda inspired group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, claimed the responsibility for the attack near the Cairo police headquarters and threatened with more attacks on security forces. The group also claimed responsibility for the deadly blast in late December near a police station to the north of Cairo, which killed 17 and wounded about one hundred.

The Egyptian interim government earlier blamed the December 24 terrorist act in the Egyptian city of Al Mansour, some 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Cairo, on Muslim Brotherhood movement, led by imprisoned ex-President Mohammed Morsi. His movement was later declared illegal in Egypt.

Armed attacks and bombings against Egyptian law enforcers became frequent after in July last year army ousted and then put in prison Islamist President Morsi. The ouster was inspired by mass protests against his rule.

Friday’s chain of bombings in the Egyptian capital takes place on the eve of January 25 anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution, which saw deposition of ex-President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 after his almost 30 years of rule.

Following the revolution, Egypt held its first in history democratic presidential election, which saw Morsi taking the post of the country’s leader. However, Morsi’s rule and the constitution, which was approved during the reign of Islamic fundamentalists, sparked last year numerous disputes and protests among the Egyptians, and led to deposition of Morsi and the annulment of the constitution.

Earlier this month Egypt held a nationwide referendum on the new draft of the constitution, submitted to Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour last December. The referendum results showed that 98 percent of Egyptians supported the draft.

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