An explosion killed two police conscripts in Alexandria on Saturday, as a bomb planted underneath a car parked on Roshdy Street went off where the convoy of Alexandria Security Director Moustafa Al-Nimr was passing.
One of the conscripts killed was a driver in Al-Nimr’s convoy. The Ministry of Interior said that four other police personnel were injured, and one of them is in critical condition.
Hours after the attack, the General Prosecution ordered the High State Security Prosecution to investigate the incident, and to acquire all necessary information to enable the arrest of the perpetrators.
The Saturday bombing comes as Egypt is gearing up for its presidential election, on the first day of the pre-election silence period. On Friday, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi visited a military base in Sinai and met with military and police personnel, where he praised the efforts of the armed forces in countering militancy.
Judges and other officials have also recently been targeted by Egyptian militants. Saturday’s attack is not the first of its kind.
At the beginning of 2018, a police general from the Daqahliya Security Directorate survived an assassination attempt as his convoy was attacked by masked assailants. No injuries were reported, and the attackers fled the scene after the ambush. In 2015, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat was assassinated due to injuries sustained in an attack that targeted his motorcade earlier in the day in the Heliopolis district of Cairo.
Following the security crackdown on Islamists and the rise of a militant insurgency in Sinai in 2014, a failed attempt to assassinate then-minster of interior Mohamed Ibrahim was claimed by militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which later rebranded itself as Islamic State affiliate “Sinai Province”.
In the last four years, Egypt has witnessed an increase in attacks that target officials, police officers, and judges who are involved in the nationwide crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood. The crackdown intensified after the July 2013 ouster of Islamist former president Mohammed Morsi, who led the now-outlawed group’s political wing.