Militants accused of bombing killed

CAIRO – Egypt’s police killed six militants on Sunday belonging to a group the authorities accuse of a bombing in the coastal city of Alexandria that targeted a security chief two days before the country holds a presidential election.

Two policemen were killed in Egypt’s second city on Saturday by a bomb that was left under a car and blew up as police Major General Mostafa al-Nemr drove past. He escaped unhurt.

“The interior ministry has dealt an effective blow to the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Hasam movement, on the dawn of March 25. The ministry uncovered a terrorist den … and exchanged fire with its elements which led to the killing of six,” it said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which the state news agency blamed on the banned Muslim Brotherhood organisation. Islamic State released a video last month in which it warned Egyptians against voting and urged Islamists to attack security forces and leaders.

Police identified three of those killed. The ministry said its investigations showed the same group had carried out Saturday’s bombing. The ministry did not indicate if those killed on Sunday took part in the bombing.

The militant Hasam Movement emerged in 2016 and has claimed several attacks on security forces and judges, including the fatal shooting of a policeman. Egyptian authorities say the group is the Brotherhood’s armed wing, but the Brotherhood says it rejects violence.

Egypt on Monday begins three days of voting in a presidential election which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to win.

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