Egyptian official survives assassination attempt

Senior assistant to Egypt's top prosecutor survives assassination attempt in an eastern suburb of Cairo.

Ben Ariel,

Egyptian flag
Egyptian flag

A senior assistant to Egypt's top prosecutor survived an assassination attempt when a car bomb exploded in an eastern suburb of Cairo as his motorcade was passing by on Thursday evening, Reuters reported.

Zakaria Abdel Aziz, the assistant prosecutor general, was on his way from his office in Rehab to his home in New Cairo when a private car that was parked on the side of the road exploded, said the local interior ministry.

Abdel Aziz and his entourage escaped unscathed, the ministry added. One passerby was wounded and taken to hospital. Security sources had earlier said two people were hurt.

Egypt is facing an Islamist insurgency led by Islamic State's (ISIS) branch in North Sinai, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed. There have also been attacks in Cairo and other cities.

The country's prosecutor general, Hisham Barakat, was killed in June of 2015 when his car was targeted by a bomb in Cairo. He was the most senior state official to die at the hands of terrorists since the toppling of former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in mid-2013.

Egypt has accused Hamas and the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood of involvement in the assassination of Barakat.

Many judges and other senior officials in Eghypt have been targeted by radical Islamists opposed to current president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and angered by hefty prison sentences imposed on members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last month, Egypt's former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, once one of the country's top religious authorities, survived an assassination attempt when two men on a motorcycle fired on him as he entered a mosque.

Gomaa is an outspoken critic of Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, noted Reuters.