A massive car bomb claimed by Islamic State militants ripped into a national security building in a working class residential neighborhood in Cairo early Thursday, wounding at least 29 people and blowing the facades off nearby buildings.
The blast, which went off around 2 a.m., demolished a wall in front of the government building, smashed its structure and left gaping holes exposing its offices. Of those hurt, 11 were police and soldiers. No deaths were reported.
Glass from blown-out windows littered the surrounding streets in the Shubra el-Kheima neighborhood, at the northern entrance to the capital.
Ambulances and fire trucks rushed to the scene, which was flooded with water from pipes broken by what authorities said were high explosives. The explosion could be heard and felt across the city. State news agency MENA reported the casualties hours later.
Emergency aid chief Ahmed al-Ansari said the wounded were evacuated to nearby hospitals. Wrecked cars stood around the building, as security forces carrying assault rifles patrolled the streets and set up roadblocks to ward off hysterical residents. A crater marked the blast’s apparent position, while a car engine sat where it landed on the other side of street.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the car bombing, saying on its Al-Bayan radio station that “soldiers of the caliphate” had carried it out. A statement issued by their affiliate in Egypt and circulated by supporters online said it was to avenge the execution of six convicted militants in May.
A similar statement emerged last month following a bombing outside the Italian Consulate in Cairo.
Egypt has seen a surge of assaults on security forces since the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. Previous large-scale attacks have been claimed by an Islamic State affiliate based in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
Inside his ruined clinic next door to the security building, plastic surgeon Gawad Mahmoud lamented Egypt’s troubles since the military ousted Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president, amid massive protests against his divisive yearlong rule.
Read more: Fox News