Cairo rocked by deadly explosions

Photo: Cairo rocked by deadly explosions  / Arabic region

At least five people have been killed in three bomb blasts in Cairo apparently targeting police, the largest of which destroyed the façade of the police's security directorate headquarters, Al Jazeera reported.

The first blast at the police HQ, at about 6.15am local time, killed four and injured about 70 others, according to state sources. The blast, reportedly a bomb in a vechicle, also damaged the nearby Islamic Museum building.

In a second blast hours later, a crude IED was detonated next to police vehicles near the Behooth metro station in the Dokki district, killing one and injuring eight.

A third blast hit a police directorate in Talbiya, in Giza, although reports of injuries were not available.

The attacks come a day before the anniversary of the January 25 revolution in 2011 that removed Hosni Mubarak.

The blast at the directorate building shattered glass from shops hundreds of metres from the site.

"It was around seven this morning. I heard shots and then the ground shook, the windows shattered," Mohamed Taher, a shopkeeper who owns a cafe 100 metres from the blast, told Al Jazeera.

The Reuters news agency reported gunfire after the explosion. State television quoted witnesses as saying gunmen opened fire on buildings after the blast.

Smoke was seen rising over the city centre and a large number of ambulances were seen on their way to the blast site.

Pictures on Twitter and state television showed the exteriors of buildings damaged by the blast.

The explosion destroyed a metal gate outside the multi-storey building and badly damaged its facade, and damaged the nearby Islamic Museum.

While no one has said they carried out the attacks, the Ansar Bait al Maqdis group issued an audio statement late on Thursday that explicitly threatened the police.

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Tags: explosion, Egypt