20 killed after explosives-filled car crashes in central Cairo

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People extinguish a fire from a blast outside the National Cancer Institute, Cairo. (Reuters)
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Egyptians walk outside the National Cancer Institute in the capital Cairo on August 5, 2019, where the explosion took place just before midnight the previous day. (AFP)
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A picture taken early morning on August 5, 2019 shows people surrounding a burned car after an accident that caused an explosion leaving at least 20 dead and dozens injured in downtown Cairo. (AFP / Aly Fahim)
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A picture taken early morning on August 5, 2019 shows people surrounding a burned car after an accident that caused an explosion leaving at least 20 dead and dozens injured in downtown Cairo. (AFP / Aly Fahim)
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Updated 05 August 2019

20 killed after explosives-filled car crashes in central Cairo

  • Egypt's interior ministry says car involved was carrying explosives for a 'terrorist operation'
  • The blast took place after a three-car explosion outside the National Cancer Institute in the Egyptian capital

CAIRO: At least 20 people were killed and almost 50 injured when an explosives-filled car crashed into other vehicles in central Cairo.

The car was to be used in a "terrorist operation" and had been prepared by the Hasm militant group, an affiliate of the Muslim brotherhood, the interior ministry said Monday.

The explosion took place outside Egypt’s National Cancer Institute after a car collided with three other vehicles as it drove against traffic on Cairo’s corniche.

The interior ministry said a technical inspection indicated "an amount of explosives was inside the car, which caused it to explode when it collided."

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi described the blast as a "terrorist incident". In a social media post, he offered his condolences to the victims' families and the Egyptian people.
Saudi Arabia condemend the incident and said it stodd with Egypt in the fight against terrorism.

A report by news site almasryalyoum.com said the car explosion, which happened in front of the Institute, shattered the school's main façade. The report said several cars parked in front of the institute were burned, and patients, doctors and workers were evacuated from inside the building.

"Patients and their families lined the sidewalk in front of the Institute in light of the lack of ambulances to transport them to hospitals, prompting a number of residents of the area to transport the injured in their own cars," said the report. 

Traffic enforcers closed the streets leading to the blast site, it said.

A video posted on Twitter by the same news site showed firetrucks and ambulances all over the disaster area.

 

 

*With AFP


Iran conservationists get prison time amid unrest: Activists

Updated 22 min 12 sec ago

Iran conservationists get prison time amid unrest: Activists

DUBAI: Six conservationists working to save the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah have been sentenced to prison on internationally criticized espionage charges in Iran, activists said Thursday, even as protests and unrest continue in parts of the country amid a government-imposed Internet shutdown.
The case against members of the nonprofit Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation show how spying charges and convictions can be levied against dual nationals and those with Western ties in Iran in closed-door trials before its Revolutionary Court.
News of the cases comes after demonstrations against government-set gasoline prices rising turned violent in Iran, killing at least 106 people, according to Amnesty International.
Iran disputes that figure without offering its own and has turned off the Internet across the country, making it difficult to reach those where protests go on. A UN office earlier said it feared the unrest may have killed “a significant number of people.”
The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said Thursday that the convicted conservationists face six to 10 years in prison for “contacts with the US enemy state.” Two others have yet to hear verdicts, it said.
The conservationists found themselves arrested over their use of camera traps to track the cheetahs, a common tool of wildlife experts.
One of the conservationists, Iranian-Canadian citizen Kavous Seyed Emami, died in disputed circumstances in prison in February 2018 awaiting trial. His widow then was blocked from flying out of Iran, but later made it out.
Iran’s Revolutionary Court typically handles espionage cases and others involving smuggling, blasphemy and attempts to overthrow the country’s Islamic government. Westerners and Iranian dual nationals often find themselves tried and convicted in closed-door trials in these courts, only later to be used as bargaining chips in negotiations.
“The only crimes that have been committed in relation to the conservationists are their unlawful arrest, their cruel and inhuman treatment in prolonged solitary confinement, the denial of their due process rights, and their sham convictions and sentencing, without evidence or regard for the requirements of law,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the center’s executive director.
Iranian state media and judiciary officials did not immediately comment on the verdicts, which is common in Revolutionary Court cases. The semiofficial Fars news agency, close to the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, carried a short story acknowledging the verdicts.