January 22, 2016 / 12:10 PM / 2 years ago

Islamic State claims responsibility for Cairo attack that killed nine

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility on Friday for a bomb attack that killed nine people in Cairo.

Damaged cars are seen at the scene of a bomb blast in Giza, Egypt, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

In a statement on social media, it said its fighters carried out the operation that killed six policemen and three others during a raid on a booby-trapped home on Thursday near the site of Egypt’s pyramids.

Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police since the army toppled president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Hundreds have died.

Islamic State’s Egypt affiliate is leading a stubborn Sinai-based insurgency that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi describes as an existential threat to the country.

Egyptian authorities have been tightening security ahead of the fifth anniversary on Monday of the uprising that ended President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

Sisi’s government denies accusations by human rights groups that security forces are guilty of widespread human rights abuses that create more Islamist radical enemies of the state.

Reporting by Michael Georgy; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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