Third Egyptian policeman dies from Cairo suicide blast

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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)
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The blast took place near the Al-Azhar mosque in central Cairo. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019
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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.


Hundreds of Algerian lawyers protest against Bouteflika

Updated 45 min 49 sec ago
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Hundreds of Algerian lawyers protest against Bouteflika

  • They gathered in Algiers’ center, the scene of mass protests for one month
  • Algerians first took to the streets a month ago to protest against Bouteflika’s plan to seek a fifth mandate

ALGIERS: Hundreds of Algerian lawyers protested again on Saturday in the capital to demand the immediate resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who has been for 20 years in power.
They gathered in Algiers’ center, the scene of mass protests for one month, holding up slogans that read: “Respect the will of the people” and “Yes to a judiciary free from corrupt dignitaries.”
Algerians first took to the streets a month ago to protest against Bouteflika’s plan to seek a fifth mandate.
The 82-year old, who has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, bowed to the protesters last week by reversing plans to seek re-election.
But he stopped short of quitting as head of state and said he would stay on until a new constitution is adopted. The move further enraged Algerians, and many of Bouteflika’s allies have turned against him.
Some members of the ruling National Liberation Front party, known by its French acronym FLN, have also sided with the demonstrators.
The powerful military has been watching the protests unfold.
The generals have intervened in the past at momentous times, including canceling an election which Islamists were poised to win in 1992, triggering a civil war in which an estimated 200,000 people were killed.
On Friday, hundreds of thousands protested across the North African country.