CAIRO — Egypt’s interior minister says his convoy was targeted by a “large” explosive device that was likely detonated by remote control on Thursday.
Speaking on state television after Thursday’s attack in an eastern Cairo district, a clearly shaken but unscathed Mohammed Ibrahim said the explosion targeted his own car. He says four other cars in the convoy were damaged.
Ibrahim said two police officers in the convoy were in serious condition and that a child who was near the explosion suffered a serious leg injury.
Security officials said six passers-by were injured in the attack, but that there were no fatalities. The blast damaged several cars parked on the street and shattered the windows of several nearby apartment buildings.
The Interior Minister is in charge of the country’s police force.
The Qatari news network Al-Jazeera tweeted the following picture it says is from the site of the attack
— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) September 5, 2013
Other pictures said to be from the site are also circulating on Twitter.
— Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (@ASE) September 5, 2013
Nasr City is a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group from which ousted President Mohammed Morsi hails. It was also the site of a sit-in protest by his supporters that was stormed by police on Aug. 14, killing hundreds.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Morsi was toppled in a July 3 military coup that followed days of protests by millions of Egyptians who demanded his departure after a year in office. During the six-weeklong sit-in protest in Nasr City, many of Morsi’s supporters threatened to wage a campaign of violence against the military-backed government if he was not reinstated.
While there has been unrest and violence across Egypt since the coup, Thursday’s attack marked the first time a senior government official has been targeted.
Morsi has been held in an undisclosed location since his ouster. Hundreds of Brotherhood leaders and supporters have been detained since the coup, including the group’s supreme leader, Mohammed Badie, and his powerful deputy, Khairat el-Shater.