CAIRO (AP) — Two bombs exploded Wednesday outside Cairo University’s engineering faculty, killing at least two people, a senior police officer and a civilian, security officials said.
The bombs, hidden at the foot of a tree, went off nearly a minute apart. They targeted riot police routinely deployed at the location in anticipation of near-daily protests by students who support ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group.
The slain police officer was Brig-Gen. Tareq al-Margawy, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The blasts also wounded seven people — four civilians and three senior police officers, including Maj. Gen. Abdel-Raouf El-Sirafy who is the deputy chief of police in the Giza province, parts of which are located in the Greater Cairo area. Cairo University’s main campus is in Giza.
Egyptian state TV described the bombs as crude and homemade. The Interior Ministry said they were planted under a tree.
The attack takes to a new level the violence which has come to define protests by students in the nearly nine months since the military ousted Morsi.
The military-backed interim government has branded the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, alleging it has plotted violence since Morsi’s removal. It has also detained and put on trial thousands of Brotherhood leaders and members.
The group denies that it resorts to violence and says the prosecution of its members is intended to give a legal veneer to what it sees as the illegal removal of an elected president.
At least 16,000 people have been arrested — and hundreds killed — in the heavy crackdown waged against the Brotherhood.