A police officer was shot Wednesday morning by unknown assailants in a drive-by shooting in front of the Abshoway police station in the city of Fayoum.
The Interior Ministry said the officer was standing guard in front of the police station, when assailants riding a motor cycle fired. He is currently receiving treatment in hospital, the ministry added.
The police station said the stationed forces fired at the assailants, who fled the scene immediately. It added that currently riot police are securing the police station and searching for the perpetrators.
This is the fourth attack this week, targeting police personnel of lower ranks, to take place in the vicinity of the city.
On 11 June, a police officer was injured outside Al-Hamouly police station by fire from unknown assailants.
Three days later, a police corporal was shot dead, sustaining injuries in different parts of his body. Investigations showed that the assailants lay in wait for the officer, who worked in the Tamia police station, until he left his house, and then attacked him.
On the same day, unknown assailants attacked a police officer on his way home from work, leaving him injured. The Interior Ministry said that the assailants in the four incidents are still unidentified.
Abshoway police station is known to have witnessed several attacks. It was attacked and looted after the post-Rabaa Al-Adaweya dispersals violence.
Days after the dispersals, unknown attackers stormed the station and set fire to it, stealing all the weapons, devices and papers. Following the violence, riot police raided the village of Abshoway, arresting tens of defendants and accusing them of being members of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
More generally, the city of Fayoum and several villages witness weekly pro-Morsi protests and silent sit-ins.
At the beginning of June, a group called the “Black Bloc” claimed to block the Qaroun-Fayoum road, resulting in clashes with riot police, who later dispersed the protesters and reopened the road.
Abshoway is among the many villages in Egypt that have been acting as a resistance bloc to security forces. It is unclear whether attacked officers were intentionally targeted or not
After the forced ouster of Islamist former president Mohamed Morsi, some militant groups claimed to “monitor” police personnel, by publishing videos and pictures of officers on duty, and have claimed responsibility for attacking police stations.
Fayoum is no exception. Several social media pages post personal information about police officers living in the city, and claim they participated in dispersals, raids, or arresting female protests.
However, Ali Baker, a researcher specialising in Jihadi groups, said that operations targeting specific police officers are random, and should be only seen in the context of “haphazard resistance”.
The most prominent assassination to take place after the revolution was in 2014, where General Mohamed Al-Saied, head of the minister of interior’s technical office, was shot and killed by unknown assailants.
Another incident was the assassination of Homeland Security’s Colonel Wael Tahoon, who was shot dead in his car last April by unknown assailants in front of his house in the Cairo district of Ain Shams.