Friday, January 24, 2014
Four explosions in Cairo kill six people, damage Islamic Museum
Building of the Cairo Security Directorate after the blast, (Photo: AhramOnliner/Mai Shaheen).
On Saturday again a bomb exploded, the fifth after four exposions a day earlier. The bomb exploded near a police academy in Cairo, but made no victims. Meanwhile the group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) claimed responsibility for the attacks.This group which has its roots in teh Sinia, also claimed responsibility for the attack in Mansoura in December (see below) that killed 16 people. (end of update)
Four separate bomb attacks in the Egyptian capital Cairo killed at least six people on Friday, just one day before the anniversary of the 25 January uprising.of 2011.
A large blast ripped through a security building in central Cairo early on Friday, killing four and injuring 76 others, according to the health ministry. At least one person was killed when a primitive bomb exploded after being thrown at a police vehicle near a metro station in Giza. A third bomb exploded in Talbiya, near a police station not far from the Giza pyramids, but caused no fatalities. Later on in the afternoon, an explosion near a cinema theater in Giza’s Haram caused at least one fatality.
The explosion at the Cairo Security Directorate in Bab El-Khalk district, which took place at around 6:30am local time and was heard across several parts of the capital,. blew out the windows of the building and stripped off parts of its façade. Interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif told state TV that a car bomb might have been used. in the Cairo attack,
TV footage showed wrecked floors of the multi-storey building and a damaged facade of the nearby Museum of Islamic Arts. Large crowds of onlookers chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood movement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, including: "the people want the execution of the Brotherhood''.
The minister of state for antiquities told journalists after touring the site that "some artefacts" inside the museum had also been damaged. The site Mada Masr reported that the damage at the museum is severe. Ceilings collapsed and glass cages broke down. Many historic pieces were completely ruined, including the rare minbar of Sayeda Roqaya, which dates back to the Fatimid era (909 to 1171).
The neighboring Dar al-Kutub Museum, which has a massive collection of Arabic, Turkish and Persian manuscripts, was also badly damaged, partly because of water that had been used in putting out a fire. At least eight manuscriopts were completely destroyed. A group from Egypt’s Heritage Task Force inspected the site on Friday and said that the building’s hanging ceiling had collapsed as a result of the explosion, its façade “seriously affected” while the glass and ceramic objects have been damaged.
“In Dar al-Kutub, behind the museum, eight manuscripts have been destroyed and several others damaged and are currently being transferred to a safe place,” the task force said.
Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi called the attacks "a vile, desperate attempt by evil terrorist forces to disrupt the success Egypt and its people have achieved in the [transitional] roadmap and the passing of the new constitution.''
Since the removal of president Morsi from power and the arrest of most of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood there have been several attacks in recent months, the deadliest of which was the bombing in December of the security headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura which killed 16 people, mostly policemen. A bomb also exploded outside a Cairo court just before polls were to set to open in last week's constitutional referendum, leaving no casualties.
The Brotherhood has repeatedly denied any links to the attacks.