Three policemen were killed and five people wounded, three civilians, when an explosive device carried by a militant they were chasing detonated in central Cairo.
The interior ministry said two policemen died when the bomb went off in El-Darb al-Ahmar district in the capital’s old Islamic Cairo, while three officers were wounded. A security source and newspapers, including Al-Masry Al-Youm, reported one injured officer died of his wounds.
It was the third security incident to hit the country in the past week, including an attack on a military checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula that left 15 soldiers and seven militants dead.
Attacks in the capital are relatively rare, though a roadside bomb in Giza killed three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide in December.
The interior ministry said security forces were pursuing the man in search of the perpetrator of an attempted attack against a police patrol in western Cairo on Friday.
After catching the suspect close to the Al Azhar mosque, “one of the explosive devices in his possession exploded, causing the death of the terrorist and the martyrdom of a police officer from national security and an officer from Cairo investigations,” the statement said.
At least three civilians were wounded, including a Thai student, security sources said. The area around Al Azhar mosque is home to crowded markets and is a popular tourist site.
Egyptian security forces have been waging a campaign against Islamist militants since 2013 focused in the north of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.