Car Bomb Injures Six Members Of Egyptian Military

A car bomb injured six members of the Egyptian military today, raising fears of a rising insurgency:

CAIRO — A car rigged with explosives detonated outside a military intelligence headquarters in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia on Saturday, wounding at least six military personnel and highlighting the rise in militant attacks on security forces here.

The official news agency MENA said that security forces discovered a second car bomb while sweeping the area, which did not explode.

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page Saturday, military spokesman Ahmed Ali said the blast was “the latest in a series of cowardly terrorist attacks by extremist elements against the people of Egypt and army installations.”

He said that six soldiers were injured and that the force of the blast had caused one of the building’s walls to collapse. Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif said five civilians were also injured.

Egypt has seen a surge in militant attacks against military and police installations since the army deposed former president Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, in July and cracked down on thousands of his supporters.

The assaults, though still apparently uncoordinated, are increasingly brazen and sophisticated, raising fears of an insurgency that could plunge Egypt into turmoil just 2½ years after its pro-democracy uprising.

Saturday’s powerful bomb exploded outside the local military intelligence headquarters and next to a busy square near Ismailia’s downtown , sending black clouds of smoke into the air and burning several other cars nearby.

Amateur video taken in the aftermath of the explosion, and posted on the semi-official news site Al Ahram, shows a fire raging at the blast site. People could be heard yelling that there were wounded.

Home to roughly 350,000 people, Ismailia is a military garrison town and the birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928.

Ever since the coup, and subsequent actions by the military such as outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood and arresting, without formal charges, large segments of its leadership and membership, analysts have expressed the concern that this could lead to anti-military activists turning to violence given that political avenues are being denied to them. For the most part, much of the recent violence has been confined to the Sinai Peninsula. Whether this  is the beginning of something more serious is unclear, but it certainly is disconcerting. Egypt isn’t likely to turn into Syria, but it could quickly come to resemble Iraq, where car bomb attacks have once again become a fact of life.

FILED UNDER: Democracy, Middle East, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.