The assassination of Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat on Sunday is the first successful attempt of killing a top level state official in Egypt since the 1990s.
Barakat died Monday afternoon in Nozha Hospital, due to injuries sustained in an attack that targeted his motorcade earlier in the day in the Heliopolis district of Cairo.
The attack occurred one day before the second anniversary of the 30 June popular uprising, that eventually led to the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013.
A broad alliance of 13 groups has called on people to take to the streets on 30 June, to protest “against the military coup”.
Following the announcement of Barakat’s death, the presidency stated it will stop the anniversary celebrations with security measurements, expected to reach the highest levels,in the upcoming days.
Barakat was appointed to his post by then-interim president Adly Mansour, shortly after Morsi was removed from power.
Judges and other officials have also recently been targeted by Egyptian militants, seeking revenge for what they consider to be a military.
Egypt last witnessed an assassination of a top official in 1990, when then-head of the Egyptian parliament, Rifat Al-Mahgoub, was shot dead in his car.
Following the security crackdown on Islamists and the rise of militant insurgency in Sinai after Morsi’s ouster, a failed attempt to assassinate then-minster of interior Mohamed Ibrahim occurred in September of the same year. The militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, later rebranded as Islamic State affiliate “State of Sinai”, said it was behind the bombing. Ibrahim, who was travelling in an armoured car, was unscathed in the incident.
Two months after the attempt on Ibrahim, militants killed top security official Lieutenant, Colonel Mohamed Mabrouk, who was a homeland security officer in charge of the counterterrorism file.