Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat died Monday afternoon in Nozha hospital due to injuries sustained in an attack that targeted his motorcade earlier in the day in the Heliopolis district of Cairo.
Health Ministry’s spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghaffar told Daily News Egypt that Barakat passed away after undergoing surgeries earlier in the day, after he was transported to the hospital following the attack.
Earlier, Abdel Ghaffar told Daily News Egypt that the top prosecutor’s condition was stable after sustaining minor shoulder and nose injuries.
A Heliopolis resident told Daily News Egypt they heard the explosion early Monday, and stepped onto their balcony to see a damaged motorcycle.
The witness also said there was an exploded vehicle, which according to the testimony, was Barakat’s security vehicle. The witness added that surrounding vehicles were in flames.
The damages on the attack scene included seven other injuries from Barakat’s staff and passengers, in addition to damages to 35 cars and nine houses in the area of the explosion.
The attack was claimed by the ‘Giza Popular Resistance’ militant group on their Facebook page. However, the post was later removed, and a Twitter account belonging to the group denounced the earlier statement.
Barakat was appointed to his post by then-interim president Adly Mansour, shortly after former president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power.
Judges and other officials have also recently been targeted by Egyptian militants, seeking revenge for what they consider to be a military coup against Morsi.
Hours before the attack, “Islamic State” affiliates in North Sinai, known as “State of Sinai”, posted a new video Sunday evening featuring the assassination of three judges in May. The video went viral through social media networks, under the name of “Extermination of Judges”.
The attack also occurred one day before the second anniversary of the 30 June popular uprising that eventually led to the ouster of the Islamist government of the Brotherhood.
Media reports on Saturday revealed plans to deploy 120,000 army and police troops to secure the country and counter terrorist attacks.
Following Morsi’s ouster, the Egyptian government declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, and Barakat ordered the arrests, travel bans and freezing of assets of a large number of the group’s top members, as well as medium-ranking members.
Egypt has been facing a gruelling war on extremist violence which is mainly focused in the North Sinai region, where most attacks are claimed by “State of Sinai”.