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ISIS Kill Eight Egyptian Police Officers in a Cairo Suburb
Egypt has its own reasons to fight ISIS. Washington Post:
CAIRO — Militants fired on a bus carrying police officers in a Cairo neighborhood on Sunday, killing eight of them, in an attack that was claimed by Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate as well as another radical group that believes in armed resistance against the government.
The police, all in plainclothes, were inspecting security in the southern Cairo suburb of Helwan early Sunday morning when four gunmen in a pickup truck attacked them, according to Egypt’s state-run Middle East News Agency. Those killed included a lieutenant.
It was the deadliest assault on security forces since November, when gunmen killed four police officers at a security checkpoint. In that attack, Wilayat Sinai, the local Islamic State branch, claimed responsibility. If it is also behind Sunday’s attack, it would further highlight the terrorist network’s capabilities of striking inside the Egyptian capital.
The Islamic State said in a statement on Twitter that “a carefully selected group of the soldiers of the caliphate” carried out the killings. It claimed that it seized weapons “as booty” and that the attack was in retaliation for the imprisoning of women in “Egypt’s infidel prisons.”
In a separate statement on its Facebook page, the Popular Resistance Movement also claimed responsibility for Sunday’s killings. The group is a youth movement that opposes the government’s counterterrorism operations, which it says have included police brutality and harassment. It said the attack was to commemorate 1,000 days since Egyptian security forces massacred what human rights groups describe as hundreds of protesters in August 2013 at Rabaa Square in Cairo.
Neither of the statements could be independently verified, but they both bore the hallmarks of their respective militant groups.
Sunday’s attack was all the more brazen because the capital has been heavily policed in recent weeks to stop demonstrators from rallying against the government of President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. Egyptian journalists have been protesting the arrest last week of two reporters who took refuge inside the journalist union’s offices in downtown Cairo. And others have railed against Sissi’s decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
Hours after the killings, Egypt’s interior minister, Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, promised an investigation and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.