Ansar Beit al-Maqdes claim all four Friday blasts

Ansar Beit al-Maqdes, a Sinai-based militant group, claimed responsibility for all four blasts that rocked Cairo on Friday, leaving six dead and dozens injured on the eve of the January 25 anniversary.

It called on Egyptians to steer clear of military and police institutions, maintaining that they “suffer gravely” to ensure that “the acts are carried out without any casualties among Muslims,” in a statement released Friday.

The group said its attack outside the Radoubis Cinema in the Haram area of Giza was targeting the “apostate criminal Gereir Mostafa, as security forces were heading to suppress a protest in Haram Street.”

While the statement did not identify a specific protest, it is likely a reference to one of the many protests held on Fridays by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was designated a terrorist organization by Egypt’s cabinet in late December.

The statement marks the first time the militant group has named a specific individual from security forces as a target, with the exception of the assassination attempt on Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in September.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdes also claimed responsibility for the bombing outside the Cairo Security Directorate, which they said was carried out using a remote-detonated car bomb. The blast went off at 6:30 am on Friday, leaving four dead and causing severe damage to the Museum of Islamic Art across the street.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdes also claimed to have targeted security forces centered outside the Behouth metro station in the Dokki neighborhood of Giza. The statement said the security forces were “involved in suppressing one of the protests,” without referring to a specific demonstration.

The group also stated that they targeted a security checkpoint using four hand grenades around the Talbeya police station in Giza, which resulted in the death of one.

A total of 15 people were killed in nationwide clashes between security forces and protesters supporting the Muslim Brotherhood on Friday. 

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