Militants kill police officers in Cairo and Alexandria

An Egyptian police officer, Brigadier General Ahmed Zaki, was killed when a bomb placed under his vehicle exploded today. At least two police conscripts were injured by the blast, which went off as Zaki was heading to work, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The attack in the western Cairo suburb of 6 October City has thus far gone unclaimed, but it bears the hallmarks of the jihadist group Ajnad Misr. The group, which last issued a statement on April 19, has taken credit for at least 14 attacks in the Cairo area since November, according to a tally maintained by The Long War Journal.

In addition to the bombing in Cairo, an Islamist militant and a police officer were killed during clashes near Alexandria. “Two explosive belts, machine guns and homemade bombs were seized in the raid in the Borg al-Arab district of Alexandria,” the Associated Press reported. Those targeted were members of the jihadist group Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis), Egypt’s Interior Ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced yesterday evening that plans to deliver 10 Apache helicopters to Egypt that had been on hold will now go through. “[W]e believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten US, Egyptian, and Israeli security,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

Egyptian authorities have been heavily reliant on helicopters, including existing Apaches, in their ongoing efforts against Islamist militants based in North Sinai.

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