Egypt has been hit by an Islamist insurgency that has mainly
targeted the police and army since the military overthrew Mursi in
July, and about 300 security officers have been killed in the wave
Saturday's attack on a military police checkpoint was carried out by
unidentified gunmen who then fled, according to state media. A
senior security source told state TV that two bombs found near the
checkpoint had also been defused.
The army released a statement shortly after, blaming the
Brotherhood, but the movement's leader Amr Darrag denied the
accusation. "I condemn the killing of Egyptian soldiers. How can the
Muslim Brotherhood be accused a few minutes after the attack with no
evidence or investigation," he said on Twitter.
The military-backed government condemned the attack and said it was
determined to combat militant attacks.
Analysts expect attacks on security forces to increase in the coming
months when a presidential vote is due to take place which is widely
expected to be won by army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has claimed
responsibility for a series of high-profile attacks on senior
security officials, including an assassination attempt on the
interior minister last year.
The checkpoint raid on Saturday came two days after an officer was
killed in an attack on an army bus which the military also blamed on
The Brotherhood, which says it is committed to peaceful activism,
condemned that attack and accused the government of trying to
implicate it for political reasons.
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The interim government declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group in
December and a security crackdown has devastated the movement,
driving Egypt's most organized political organization underground.
Mursi, other Brotherhood leaders and hundreds of Islamist activists
have been jailed pending trial over violence-related crimes.
The army said last Wednesday that security forces had recently
killed seven militants and arrested 36 others, all linked to the
Brotherhood and suspected to be involved in attacks against security
forces since Mursi was toppled.
The Brotherhood has denied any links to such attacks.
(Additional reporting by Omar Fahmy and Yasmine Saleh;
writing by Yasmine Saleh; editing by Pravin Char)
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