Police announced seizing amounts of materials used in manufacturing explosives inside Abdullah's house - Press photo
CAIRO - 19 February 2019: As Egypt is leading a fight against terrorism on all levels including security, adopting a proactive strategy earlier announced by the country's security authorities, three policemen were killed in Monday's attack in al-Darb al-Ahmar neighborhood.
A video showed two policemen immediately killed after they already got their hands on a terrorist who has been targeted for few days after planting a bomb on Friday to target security forces, which police could earlier control.
Once two policemen could finally seize Al-Hassan Abdullah, a bomb the latter carried exploded likely deliberately. Police announced seizing amounts of materials used in manufacturing explosives inside Abdullah's house. A third police lieutenant colonel was announced killed later due to severe injury.
Investigations have not yet revealed whether the killed terrorist belongs to a terrorist group, especially as no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The explosion was so strong that it affected a number of houses and shops around it, according to eyewitnesses.
An eyewitness said that Abdullah had lived among them in the neighborhood for a long time, and that other dwellers did not know much about his job or the reason why he is not married despite being over 37 years old.
She added that Abdullah was always seen riding his bicycle and putting on a face mask to cover a big part of his face.
Sources said that Abdullah had decided to live alone in the district where the incident took place, away from his pediatrician father, and his family who lives in Heliopolis district, according to some media reports. Egypt Today could not verify the information.
Mohamed Sh., 67, said that Abdullah has lived in the district for many years since his family had abandoned him, adding that all his siblings are married, and are of a good social level.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement condemning Monday's attack. "We deplore all forms of terrorism and honor the brave police officers who gave their lives to protect their fellow citizens."
"We offer our condolences to their families and wishes for a quick recovery to those injured. The United States stands with Egypt against terrorism and extremism," the statement added.
Saudi Embassy also condemned the incident, affirming "the categorical rejection" of such attacks.
Attacks in Cairo and other central governorates are relatively rate, compared to frequent attacks and fire exchange between Egypt's security troops and armed forces in North Sinai, and "takfiri" elements. Police, on the other hand, regularly announces raiding many hideouts in various governorates including central ones, as part of its proactive strategy, and killing many terrorists, especially before national celebrations and religious feasts, as terrorists are used to being active during such occasions.
Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has focused since taking post in 2014 to combat terrorism that has emerged especially since Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated former President Mohamed Morsi was ousted in 2013.
“With God’s benevolence and your efforts and sacrifices, you and the police will restore security and use all brute force, all brute force,” President Sisi said late in 2017, addressing military commanders.
Challenging the security grip, a terrorist attack killed around three tourists and their guide, and injured others in a tourist bus explosion in Marioteya district, near Giza governorate in December last year.
According to statement issued by Egypt’s interior ministry, the explosion came due to primitive explosive device. Fourteen tourists were reported on bus, all of them were Vietnamese.
The Armed Forces launched an anti-terror campaign in February 2018 to eradicate terrorism in North Sinai after a mosque was targeted resulting in the death of more than 300 civilians.
“The Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018” has reportedly succeeded to eliminate hundreds of terrorists confiscating the firearms and explosive devices they possessed and destroying the vehicles they used.
On Saturday, terrorists in North Sinai attacked a force concentration. The fire exchange resulted in the death of seven terrorists, and 14 injuries and casualties among military personnel, said spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces Tamer al-Refai.