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Drive-by attack kills 3 police personnel in Eastern Cairo - Daily News Egypt

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Drive-by attack kills 3 police personnel in Eastern Cairo

Attack marks change in strategy of militants, as they tended to attack stationary checkpoints rather than mobile convoys

Militants attacked on Monday night a mobile police convoy in Nasr City, killing three personnel and injuring five others.

The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said that the policemen were stationed at a mobile checkpoint when they were attacked by unknown individuals riding two cars.

The names of the casualties, as reported by the Ministry of Interior, are police captain Mohamed Al-Said from the Cairo Security Directorate, captain Ayman Refaat from the Investigation Bureau of the Ain Shams police station, and noncommissioned officer Shaban Abdel Hamid from the Cairo Security Directorate. The injured personnel were hospitalised.

Eyewitnesses told Daily News Egypt that the militants drove two privately owned cars, ambushed the mobile checkpoint, and opened fire. They added that the attack took place when the police cars stopped at the Mohamed Zaki square near the Ring Road.

Security officials prevented journalists from taking pictures and a police colonel on scene said that investigation teams found around 80 to 90 bullets and that the firing took place from a short distance.

Police forces cordoned off the crime scene and prevented cars from passing through the area until search teams were done investigating. After the incident, several checkpoints were deployed all over the Nasr City neighbourhood.

A team from the prosecution arrived to the scene of the incident to collect evidence and inspect the attacked checkpoint. Investigations have started to arrest the perpetrators, and search teams are starting to identify the cars which were used in the attack, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry announced that a military funeral will be held for the victims, in attendance of high ranking officials from the security apparatus.

The attack was condemned by Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, Minister of Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, and Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.

The attack has not yet been claimed by any militant group. The groups which are most active in the regions of Cairo and the Delta are Hasm and Lewaa El Thawra. Both have executed several operations with specific targets, justifying their attacks later in statements.

For example, in its latest attack in Tanta on 1 April, which targeted a security forces training camp, Hasm declared that it was avenging ill treatment and alleged torture of detainees in prisons in Tanta, adding that this was also in retaliation of mistreatment of family members of prisoners. The attack killed one lower ranking police officer. Twelve other police officers and two civilians were wounded.

Another example is the assassination of major Adel Ragaai, who was killed in front of his residence in Al Obour City. Later, the group posted footage accusing Ragaai of engineering the demolition of residential areas in Rafah.

Monday’s attack on a mobile police convoy is a change of tactics by militants, who have generally attacked stationary police checkpoints.

Although militant attacks are mostly occurring in North Sinai, attacks targeting public facilities, as well as police and army facilities and personnel, have spilled out of the restive peninsula, often in the form of drive-by shootings and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.

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