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5 dead in explosions, clashes involving anti-government protesters in Egypt

By Hamdi Alkhshali and Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 6:27 AM EDT, Sat May 3, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: State news: Explosions in Cairo leave 2 dead
  • NEW: 1 dies, 9 hurt in suicide attacks in Sinai, says another official report
  • NEW: 2 Morsy supporters killed in clashes with angry locals
  • NEW: 42 backers of the ousted president are arrested

(CNN) -- A spate of deadly explosions rocked Egypt on Friday, the latest violence in the tumultuous Middle East nation, state news reported.

Two of the blasts occurred in the capital of Cairo, including one near a metro station in Ramses that killed one person and injured others, according to the state-run EGYNews agency.

Earlier, a police officer died and four other security personnel were injured in an explosion in Heliopolis in downtown Cairo, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency reported. The same agency reported another blast at a traffic checkpoint.

Meanwhile, Ahram Online -- another state news agency -- reported a pair of suicide attacks in the Sinai city of El Tur, leaving one dead and nine injured.

One of these occurred at a security checkpoint run by police and soldiers, while another happened in the path of a tour bus carrying workers. MENA reported that three people were wounded in this attack 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest of the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Militants based in the Sinai peninsula near the Israeli border have stepped up attacks on soldiers and policemen since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsy. Egypt's first democratically elected president -- succeeding the also deposed Hosni Mubarak -- Morsy was removed from power by the military and later arrested on incitement to conduct murder and other charges.

Some of Morsy's supporters turned out -- as they have regularly on Fridays, despite strict restrictions on protests and the banning of the Islamist group that Morsy belonged to, the Muslim Brotherhood -- in Cairo's Helwan district, EGYNews reported.

They were met by security forces there to disperse the protesters, Egypt's Interior Ministry said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. The ministry claimed that some of the protesters shot at police.

Similar protests, and similar violence, broke out elsewhere.

Two Morsy supporters were killed by live ammunition and three suffered injuries west of the port city of Alexandria in what the Interior Ministry described as clashes with angry locals that occurred after Friday prayers.

The Interior Ministry reported that security forces ended up apprehending 42 pro-Morsy activists in the governorates of Cairo, Giza, Fayoum and Alexandria.

CNN's Yousuf Basil contributed to this report.

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