Three Egyptian police officers have been killed in a drive-by-shooting in Cairo by men armed with machine guns, according to the Egypt’s interior ministry.
Two cars approached a police patrol in the busy neighborhood of Nasr City late on Monday before opening fire at the officers. Five others were wounded in the incident.
The interior ministry did not specify how many assailants were involved and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Egypt is currently battling battling several armed groups which are mainly concentrated in Sinai Peninsula sine the 2013 military coup that toppled Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president.
Since then, General-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi launched massive crackdown on opposition in which hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been killed and thousands, including Morsi, jailed or sentenced to death.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the country’s most active armed group, has pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, and has killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers.
The Hasam Movement, which the government alleges is an offshoot of the Brotherhood, which is totally denied by the Islamic movement, has claimed several attacks in or near Cairo, including the assassination of a police officer and the attempted killing of a senior prosecutor.
Last month, ISIS has claimed responsibility for two attacks on churches in Egypt that were packed for Palm Sunday. The two bombings killed at least 44 people and injured around 100.
In fact, the last two bombings raise fears that Islamic militants who have long been battling security forces in the Sinai Peninsula are shifting their focus to civilians in Cairo.
Moreover, an Islamic State affiliate claimed a suicide bombing at a Cairo church last December that killed around 30 people, mostly women, as well as a killing several Christians in northern Sinai that caused hundreds of them to flee to safer areas of the country.
In the same context, the group recently released a video pledging to carry out attacks against Christians, who it describes as “infidels”empowering the West against Muslims.