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New militant group claims Cairo bombings

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[February 08, 2014]  CAIRO (Reuters)  A new militant group has claimed responsibility for two bombings that targeted the Egyptian police on Friday and has vowed to carry out more attacks, according to a statement posted on a Facebook page set up in its name.

The group called Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, emerged last month, claiming responsibility for six attacks at the end of January, according to SITE Intelligence group, which monitors websites used by militant Islamist groups.

Six people were wounded in Friday's two bomb blasts near a police checkpoint in Cairo.

In the Facebook statement, which was also reported by SITE, Ajnad Misr said: "(The security forces) are not safe from retaliation which is pursuing them."

"Our attacks on them will continue all the while their crimes continue."

Lethal shootings and bomb attacks targeting the Egyptian security forces have become commonplace since last July, when the army deposed president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood following mass protests against his rule.

Many of the attacks have been claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a group based in North Sinai that has turned its attention from Israel to the Egyptian government since Mursi's overthrow.

The army-backed authorities have cracked down hard on Mursi's Islamist sympathisers since his removal. Hundreds of his supporters were killed during protests in the weeks after his removal and thousands more were arrested.

Several hundred members of the security forces have been killed in bombings and shootings since then.

(Writing by Tom Perry; editing by Gareth Jones)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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