A ROADSIDE bomb near Egypt’s second-largest city Alexandria killed a bystander and injured two others yesterday, while authorities defused two more explosive devices at Cairo International Airport, officials said.
The latest reports are part of recent spike in small bombs being planted around Egypt. Many of the devices have been so-called flash-bang grenades, designed to cause panic but minimal damage or casualties. The larger and deadlier bombs have been targeted almost exclusively at members of the Egyptian police and army.
Yesterday’s bombing was a rare incident of a civilian killed by these rudimentary explosives. The officials said the bomb was targeting a police patrol driving in the beachfront town of Agamy, on the western outskirts of Alexandria.
The bomb went off, apparently detonated remotely, as the vehicles moved – injuring a street peddler, his son and a bystander. The bystander later died of his wounds, the officials said.
In Cairo, officials said a bomb was planted in the Cairo International Airport arrival hall of the terminal hosting EgyptAir. Another was planted near a police patrol location in the airport’s parking lot. Both were defused. The officials said the bombs appeared to be controlled remotely by mobile phone. Airport officials said flights were not affected.
Egypt has been gripped by turmoil since the military toppled Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.
Meanwhile, a journalist for Al-Jazeera renounced his Egyptian citizenship, his family said, in a bid to follow his Australian colleague Peter Greste in being released from a Cairo jail.
Mohamed Fahmy surrendered his Egyptian passport yesterday as a necessary step for him to be freed and deported as a foreign national under a decree issued by president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in November. Mr Fahmy also has Canadian citizenship and Canada says his release is close, but the status of his colleague, Baher Mohamed, remains unclear and there are concerns over his fate, because he is an Egyptian without dual nationality.
The latest news came after Canadian foreign minister John Baird said that Mr Fahmy’s release was “imminent” following the freeing of Mr Greste on Sunday – the Australian journalist was released from prison and deported after 400 days behind bars.
The three journalists were arrested in 2013 after being accused of collaborating with the banned Muslim Brotherhood when Mr Morsi was ousted by the military.
All three denied the charges and said their trial was a sham. The presidential decree last November allows the deportation of foreign prisoners. Mr Fahmy’s brother, Adel, told reporters that the authorities gave the journalist the option of dropping his nationality.
“It was a very difficult decision. Mohamed is very proud and comes from a patriotic family of high-ranking military and policemen that have defended this country and fought its wars,” Adel Fahmy said.
Many of his family members were offended by Mr Fahmy’s decision to relinquish his citizenship, he added, but said his fiancée had pushed him to do so.