CAIRO / AP
Militants opened fire on a microbus filled with plainclothes police in a Cairo suburb early Sunday, killing eight of them, including an officer, in an attack claimed by a local IS affiliate. The attack was the deadliest in the heavily policed capital since November, when gunmen attacked a security checkpoint, killing four policemen. That attack was also claimed by the local IS affiliate.
Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency said the policemen were inspecting security in the south Cairo suburb of Helwan early Sunday when four gunmen in a pickup opened fire on them.
Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar, in charge of police, ordered an investigation into the attack.
“These are the heroes whose blood mixes with the nation’s soil every day,” Abdel-Ghaffar told state television at the end of a brief military funeral for the eight policemen.
“We are determined to continue our march against terror and anyone who seeks to undermine the nation’s stability,” he said, as black-clad female relatives of the policemen wailed in grief.
The coffins of the eight, wrapped in the Egyptian flag, were placed atop red fire engines that led a procession of several hundred mourners, including other policemen.
An IS affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement, saying it killed everyone in the vehicle. It identified the officer and said the fighters seized light weapons from the police before they fleeing the scene unharmed.
It said the operation was to avenge women jailed in Egypt.