News outlets speculate over shootout outside Niger Embassy

Unidentified assailants shot dead one police conscript and injured three people outside the Embassy of Niger in Giza on Wednesday morning.


While no group has officially claimed responsibility for this deadly attack, local media outlets have been pointing the finger at armed Islamist groups.


The state-owned Al-Ahram news portal reported that the three individuals injured in the shooting included two low-ranking police officers and one civilian, who were transported to a nearby hospital.


According to preliminary investigations and eyewitness testimonies, three masked assailants in a car without license plates opened fire at around 1 am on security guards outside the Embassy of Niger, which is located on Haram Street in Giza.


Citing prosecutors’ findings, mainstream media outlets Youm7 and Al-Wafd reported that seven bullets tore through the body of the deceased police conscript.


Citing unnamed security sources, Youm7 blamed the armed Islamist group Ajnad Misr, adding that the attack was in response to the killing of two leading members of Ajnad Misr by security forces, according to the source.


Citing a statement by Al-Azhar University in response to the shooting, CNN speculated that the attack on the embassy was timed to coincide with the opening of the New Suez Canal Project, so as to tarnish Egypt’s image abroad and to portray the country as being unstable ahead of the official inauguration on August 6.


The Embassy of Niger is the latest diplomatic mission to be struck by an armed attack. On July 11, the Italian Consulate in Cairo was the target of a fatal car bombing, which resulted in the death of one passer-by and the injury of at least 10 others. The bombing of the Italian Consulate was claimed by the Islamic State group, who claimed 450 kilograms of explosives were used to target the consulate.


On March 12, 2014, a crude explosive device was reportedly detonated near the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel, although no casualties were reported.


In December 2014, several western embassies were temporarily closed or relocated amid alleged terror threats.