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Egyptian extremist group says it's behind Cairo blasts

By Heba Fahmy, CNN
updated 8:04 AM EDT, Thu April 3, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An extremist group calling itself Soldiers of Egypt, or Agnad Masr, claims Cairo blasts
  • Group says it targeted police brigadier general and security officials
  • Egypt has been in turmoil since the army ousted the country's Islamist president in July

Cairo (CNN) -- A shadowy extremist group calling itself Soldiers of Egypt, or Agnad Masr, claimed responsibility Thursday for three blasts outside Cairo University that killed an Egyptian police brigadier general and injured five others.

The group's statement, posted on its Facebook page, said the bombs Tuesday targeted security officials who were stationed outside the university, including Brig. Gen. Tariq al-Mirgawi, police chief of the criminal unit in West Giza.

The first two blasts came in quick succession near the faculty of engineering, with the third a little later near the main gate. In its statement, the group said it had delayed the third blast to avoid injuring civilians with shrapnel.

Agnad Masr, which announced itself in January of this year and is not well known, said the attacks were a response to police crackdowns and arrests of ''our free women and men.''

Attacks targeting security forces have become increasingly common in Egypt since the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsy, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, in July after mass protests against his rule.

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