Five people were killed and scores injured in a series of blasts that targetted the police in Cairo on Friday.
Egypt’s Antiquities Minister said a car bomb that exploded at the Cairo police headquarters caused major damage to the Islamic art museum, even as an al-Qaeda—inspired group claimed that it carried out the deadly car bombing that killed four people and injured several others.
“The explosion was against the oppressive and unfaithful security forces,” the Ansar Beit al—Maqdes, a group based in the Sinai Peninsula, said on Twitter.
Egyptian security officials said one person was killed and eight were injured in a blast targeting police vehicles near a metro station in the capital. The blast occurred a few hours after the car bomb blast.
Witnesses said drops of blood were scattered at the site of the attack, also next to the famous Russian Culture Centre in the Dokki district.
Egyptian officials said a third blast targeted a police station near the famous Giza Pyramids. The explosion was caused by a home—made device and caused no casualties. The officials said the device had been placed next to the Talbiya police station in the southwestern suburb. The station is about four km from the pyramids.
The near-simultaneous attacks are the first in central Cairo since the surge of militant attacks the followed the military coup against ousted president Mohamed Morsy in July 2013.
Antiquities Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said the car blast “badly damaged” the walls of the 19th century Museum of Islamic Art.
In a statement to media a few hours after Friday’s explosion, Ibrahim said there was also heavy damage to items and artifacts housed in the museum, including a rare collection of Islamic art objects dating back to 1881.
The museum, which was recently renovated in a multi—million dollar project, will have to be “rebuilt,” he said.