CAIRO: A bomb exploded in Old Cairo’s multi-religious compound Tuesday night, according to Youm7. No injuries were reported, and another bomb was diffused.
The bomb was planted under a car around 150 meters from the police installation at the entrance of the compound, a Tourism Police official who witnessed the incident told The Cairo Post Wednesday. He said the bomb squad successfully diffused the second bomb after the first went off.
MENA, however, reported that the bomb was planted in an electricity box and did not specify where the second bomb was found. Hassan Saadallah, the Ministry of Antiquities’ spokesperson, told MENA there were no damages to monuments in the compound.
Earlier on Tuesday, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh al-Damaty toured the compound to announce the completion of restoration work at the Hanging Church, which will officially be reopened in October.
The religious compound combines the three monotheistic religions and includes the famous Mosque of Amr Ibn al-As, which was built around 642 AD. The compound is usually open in the morning to receive visitors and closes in the afternoon. It is fenced and guarded by police forces.
Small bombs, often either diffused by experts or causing minor explosions and little damage, are a recurrence in Cairo. Deadly attacks on police officers have also become frequent since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013.
In most attacks, masked gunmen have shot at officers on duty, often at security checkpoints, or tracked off-duty officers. Two major attacks against the security directorates of Dakahlia and Cairo, in separate incidents on Dec. 24, 2013 and Jan. 24, 2014, killed 16 people in total, including civilians, and injured over a hundred.
Last September, there was an attempt on the life of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo. The alleged Sinai-based militant organization Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the attacks.