Third Egyptian policeman dies from Cairo suicide blast

1 / 2
An Egyptian police officer in plainclothes rolls a piece of equipment to the site where the body of a suicide bomber lay covered in a sheet behind al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo on February 19, 2019. (FP / Khaled Desouki)
2 / 2
The blast took place near the Al-Azhar mosque in central Cairo. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019
0

Third Egyptian policeman dies from Cairo suicide blast

  • Two more policemen and a woman were injured by the blast
  • Egypt’s tourism industry has been struggling to recover from attacks and domestic instability

CAIRO: The death toll from a late-night suicide blast near Cairo’s famed tourist market rose to three on Tuesday after a police officer died of his wounds, Egyptian security officials said.

All three fatalities in the attack late Monday near Khan el-Khalili bazaar in the heart of Cairo were policemen. The explosion also wounded two other policemen and a woman, the officials said.

The attack was a rarity for the central area of Egypt’s capital following progress from a security crackdown under President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The Interior Ministry said the attacker, identified as 37-year-old Al-Hassan Abdullah, blew up his explosives after police officers approached him with the intention to arrest him.

The man was wanted in a bombing last Friday near a mosque in Cairo’s district of Giza and the police had been monitoring his movements, the statement said. The attacker’s affiliation was not known and no militant group claimed responsibility for the bombings.

The ministry had blamed members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood for last week’s attack, which it said targeted a security checkpoint and wounded three people.

Following Monday’s explosion, which shattered windows and blew curtains off nearby balconies, Egyptian police and soldiers cordoned off the narrow streets around the bazaar. A body, covered with a white sheet stained with blood, was seen lying on the ground in the blocked-off area, close to Egypt’s renowned Al-Azhar mosque.

In a house nearby, police found a bomb and bomb-making material, which prompted the evacuation of the whole building, said the security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Egypt has been facing an insurgency led by the Daesh group that is largely limited to northern Sinai Peninsula but which occasionally spills out to the mainland.


Palestine, Egypt offer air support as Israel battles wildfires

A firefighting aircraft flies over a forest near Kibbutz Harel, which was damaged by wildfires during a record heatwave, in Israel May 24, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 May 2019
0

Palestine, Egypt offer air support as Israel battles wildfires

  • Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes on Thursday as fires raged
  • The fires were fueled by high temperatures and dry condition

JERUSALEM: Egypt and four European countries sent aircraft to help Israel battle wildfires that have forced the evacuation of some small towns, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday, as a record heatwave looked set to worsen conditions.
At an emergency briefing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had appealed for international help to combat the fires, and that firefighting planes were coming in from Greece, Croatia, Italy and Cyprus.
Egypt, on the orders of President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi, had also sent two helicopters to assist Israel, Netanyahu told reporters.
The Palestinian Authority and Russia had also offered help, Netanyahu said.
Israel braced for wildfires on Friday amid a major heat wave that shows no signs of abating.
Israel “really appreciates” the help, Netanyahu said, singling out El-Sisi for sending aid.
“I am deeply thankful for the readiness of neighbors to help us in a time of crisis, just as we help them,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service said blazes in a key corridor between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were mostly under control but difficult weather remained a conflagration risk.
“As of this moment, this (containment) is being done in the best possible way, but the challenge is yet ahead of us given the weather conditions, the winds and the extreme heat,” Netanyahu said.
Some 3,500 residents of small towns in the path of the fires were evacuated on Thursday, officials said. Dozens of homes have burned down.

Evacuations
Thousands of people were evacuated from towns and dozens of homes were burned on Thursday as fires raged, fueled by high temperatures and dry conditions. Over 500 acres of woodland have burned, said Nitai Zecharya, an Israeli official from the Jewish National Fund, known for planting forests in the country.
Zecharya said that while firefighters had brought most of the blaze under control, officials remained “very stressed” about strong winds fanning flames and “spreading fires to other fronts.”
The cause of the fires remains unclear, but they erupted following the Jewish festival of Lag Ba’Omer, which observers mark with bonfires.
A sweltering heat wave is pushing temperatures in parts of the country up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, or 43 Celsius.