CAIRO – Gunmen attacked a police patrol in Cairo, killing three policemen and wounding five before fleeing the scene, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said Tuesday.
The attack late Monday was claimed by a shadowy group known as Hasm, or “Decisiveness,” which the government suspects is linked to the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.
The ministry said gunmen in two cars attacked the police patrol in the Nasr City neighborhood, and that police returned fire. It said two of the three policemen killed had attained the rank of captain.
The attack came two days after Pope Francis wrapped up a visit to Egypt during which security was exceptionally tight.
The Hasm group has claimed several previous attacks in Cairo, usually targeting police. It claimed a shooting attack against a former chief Muslim theologian and a car bombing against the deputy of the chief prosecutor. Both men escaped unharmed.
Insurgent attacks have dramatically increased in Egypt since the military’s 2013 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, a senior Brotherhood figure. The violence has been concentrated in the northern Sinai Peninsula, where Islamic State-linked militants are battling the army.
The Islamic State affiliate has claimed three church bombings on the mainland since December that killed dozens of worshippers.
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