Skip to main content

Egypt: Blasts at Cairo University kill officer, wound 5

From Ian Lee, Saad Abedine and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, CNN
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1538 GMT (2338 HKT)
  • A third bomb explodes outside Cairo University
  • Egyptian police brigadier general killed, five people injured, Interior Ministry says
  • It says that two explosive devices were in trees in the area
  • Egypt has been in turmoil since army ousted Islamist president in July

Cairo (CNN) -- An Egyptian police brigadier general was killed and five others were injured in bombings Wednesday outside Cairo University, the Interior Ministry said.

Three blasts rocked the area outside the university campus -- the first two in quick succession near the faculty of engineering and a third a little later near the main gate.

Hundreds of police and security officials cordoned off the area, where forensic experts and sniffer dogs were brought in to investigate. Ambulances also arrived on the scene.

Attacks targeting security forces have become increasingly common in Egypt since the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsy, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, in July following mass protests against his rule.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said Brig. Gen. Tariq al-Mirgawi, police chief of the criminal unit in West Giza, was killed in the blasts. Those injured were police officers.

"Experts determined that the two explosive devices were planted in one of the trees in the area," the ministry said, adding that an investigation was under way.

A security source within the ministry told CNN the bombs appeared to be "homemade."

Internal strife

Al-Mirgawi's funeral, held at the police academy in Cairo, was broadcast live on state-run Nile TV.

Mourners carry the coffin of Brigadier General Tariq al-Mirgawi during his funeral in the Egyptian capital Cairo, on April 2, 2014.
Mourners carry the coffin of Brigadier General Tariq al-Mirgawi during his funeral in the Egyptian capital Cairo, on April 2, 2014.

The station had earlier reported security forces were dealing with a car loaded with TNT explosive material which was discovered outside the campus. State TV later said al Nahda square, which is in front of the campus, had been opened to traffic following police searches.

The blasts caused part of a building to collapse, the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab called an emergency meeting of the Cabinet's security committee.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Islamist militants have carried out similar operations in a fast-growing insurgency threatening Egypt, which will hold presidential elections on May 26-27.

Egypt has faced unending turmoil since the uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Since Morsy's ouster, the country has suffered the worst internal strife in its modern history. Morsy and other Brotherhood leaders were rounded up soon after his removal from office.


Cairo's military-installed government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group. It accuses the movement of supporting attacks against the police and army -- an allegation the Brotherhood denies.

Since Morsy's ouster, more than 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of Brotherhood members have been detained in a crackdown by the interim authorities.

The government says militants have killed almost 500 people in the same time period, most of them police and soldiers.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the general who toppled Morsy, is expected to win the May presidential vote easily.

He is popular among Egyptians who supported the army's decision to remove Morsy from power a year into his term and see el-Sisi as the kind of strongman needed to end the turmoil dogging the Arab world's most populous nation.

But el-Sisi is reviled by the Islamist opposition, which sees him as the mastermind of a coup against an elected leader and the author of a fierce crackdown on dissent.

Editors' Note: This article has been edited to remove plagiarized content after CNN discovered multiple instances of plagiarism by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, a former CNN news editor.

CNN's Schams Elwazer, Mohammed Tawfeeq, Heba Fahmy and Neda Farshbaf contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Visit CNN Arabic for full election news and updates in Arabic.
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 1650 GMT (0050 HKT)
CNN's Reza Sayah explains Egypt's presidential election.
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Minute changes by Egypt's next leader may not be sufficient to bring genuine stability, writes H.A. Hellyer.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0359 GMT (1159 HKT)
Supporters of Egyptian leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi (portrait) attend a campaign meeting in Cairo.
Both presidential candidates have made lofty promises. But has either offered specifics on how the economy?
June 8, 2014 -- Updated 0806 GMT (1606 HKT)
CNN's Reza Sayah profiles the leading contender in Egypt's presidential election, ex army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0809 GMT (1609 HKT)
Hamdeen Sabahi is considered a heavy underdog in the race for Egypt's presidency, but he's sure he's going to win.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
A court in Cairo sentences ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to three years in prison for embezzlement.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1722 GMT (0122 HKT)
An Egyptian man waits for tourists to take them on camel rides at the Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo on February 14, 2011.
Instead of focusing on antiquities, Egypt's new "We miss you" video features dancers, malls and ritzy hotels.
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
Former Arab League head Amre Moussa says presidential favorite Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is right to stand up to "terrorists."
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
Can music heal the rift of revolution and conflict in Egypt? CNN's Reza Sayah meets the Egyptian band trying.
May 6, 2014 -- Updated 2120 GMT (0520 HKT)
Egypt's former military chief doesn't mince words when he describes what would happen if he wins the presidency.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 0937 GMT (1737 HKT)
Are threats of sexual violence an everyday reality for women in Cairo?
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour sends letter to the family of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy.
March 9, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Sara Sidner talks about stepping in for Al Jazeera reporters since they have been barred from working in Egypt.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
How are the Arab Spring nations faring? What successes can they boast and what challenges await?