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ICC Note: In a series of recent attacks, Islamist extremists respectively struck Cairo and Alexandria in a bombing and church attack. During the Alexandria church attack, one policeman was killed and seven others were wounded. Just prior to the attacks, the founder of radical group Ajnad Misr, which has attacked police officers and military personnel in the past, was killed by security forces.

By Ahmed Tolba and Yousri Mohamed

04/05/2015 Egypt (Reuters) – Islamist militants hit Egypt’s two largest cities on Sunday with a bombing in Cairo and an attack on a church in Alexandria, leaving one policeman dead and seven people wounded, security sources said.

In a separate incident, the leader of a militant group that has targeted police and soldiers around the capital was killed in a firefight with security forces early on Sunday, the interior ministry said.

Egypt is facing an insurgency based in North Sinai that has killed hundreds of soldiers and police since the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Most militant attacks have taken place in the Sinai Peninsula, a remote but strategic region bordering Gaza, Israel and the Suez Canal. Smaller-scale bombings have become increasingly common in Cairo and other cities.

A bomb explosion on a bridge leading to the upscale Cairo district of Zamalek, which hosts many embassies, killed one policeman, the interior ministry said. Two more officers and a civilian were injured.

The force of the bomb, which the sources said was planted in or near a car, left a shallow crater and pools of blood on the 15 May Bridge.

In Alexandria, militants in a micro bus shot at the Church of the Angel Rafael, wounding one police officer and three civilians before fleeing, security sources said.

On Saturday, two bombs exploded near a police station in the residential Imbaba district across the Nile River from Zamalek, causing no casualties.

Sunday’s bombing was claimed on Twitter by Ajnad Misr, a militant group that emerged in January 2014 and has targeted security forces in and around Cairo.

“God has enabled our brave soldiers to plant an IED where the criminal (security) services were gathered on the bridge,” Ajnad Misr’s media wing said.

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