Death toll rises in latest attack against Egypt security forces
CAIRO - A bomb struck a bus carrying Egyptian policemen Monday, killing three and wounding 33, officials said, in the latest attack against security forces who are being targeted by jihadists.
The attack occurred in the Nile Delta province of Baheira, 260 kilometres (160 miles) north of Cairo, while the policemen were travelling on a civilian bus to work.
"Three policemen were killed, including one who succumbed to his wounds in hospital," health ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said, updating an earlier toll.
"Thirty-three policemen were also wounded. One of them remains in a critical condition."
Jihadists have killed scores of policemen and soldiers since an Islamist insurgency swelled in the wake of the 2013 overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president who took office following the ouster of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.
The insurgency has been spearheaded by Egypt's affiliate of the Islamic State group which has launched regular attacks against security forces.
While mostly centred on the Sinai Peninsula, IS has in recent months carried out more attacks in the capital, including against foreign targets.
On Thursday, a car bomb claimed by ISIS tore through a Cairo police building injuring 29 people, including six policemen.
The group also claimed a car bomb attack targeting the Italian consulate in downtown Cairo on July 11 which killed a passerby.
The consulate bombing was followed by the abduction of Croatian engineer Tomislav Salopek, who IS later claimed to have beheaded.
Jihadists say their attacks are in retaliation for a police crackdown targeting Morsi supporters that has left hundreds dead and thousands jailed.
With his security forces battling to contain the insurgency, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi last week ratified an anti-terrorism law boosting police and judicial powers.
It also imposes hefty fines for "false" media reports on militant attacks.