(Adds another bomb, officials' comments, analyst)
By Shadia Nasralla and Stephen Kalin
CAIRO, June 25 Eight people were hurt in
northern Cairo when homemade explosive devices blew up at four
metro stations and a courthouse on Wednesday morning in the
first attacks in Cairo since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became
president earlier this month.
Three people were slightly wounded when a device - described
by officials as "primitive" - exploded at Shubra El-Kheyma
station in a northern district of Greater Cairo during morning
rush hour, security sources said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Egypt has
been hit by a wave of violence, mainly by militants based in the
Sinai peninsula against security forces, since the army ousted
President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July.
Shubra El-Kheyma appeared to be operating normally shortly
after the blast, with passengers filing onto trains and a
blackened, tattered cloth believed to have contained the device
the only visible sign of the incident. Police with dogs were
inspecting the site.
A spokesman for the Metro company - who said only two people
were wounded at Shubra - said the system was functioning
"I don't believe it's a big explosion ... The area itself
was unaffected," Mohamed Abdel Zaher, the governor of Qalyubia
province which forms part of Greater Cairo, told reporters.
Blasts were also reported at Ghamra, Hadaiq El Quba and
Ezbet El-Nakhl stations, security sources said. Four people were
hurt, they said, but their injuries were not life-threatening.
One person was hurt when a bomb attached to a car exploded
near a Cairo court house, the sources said. Devices near the
court house and at Hilmiyat El-Zeytoun station failed to
explode, they said.
Security forces have been staging a crackdown on Islamists
since Mursi's fall, killing hundreds and arresting thousands.
Hundreds of policemen and soldiers have been killed by militants
and in clashes since last summer.
"This is going to continue to be an issue so long as
Islamists assess that they have no political space in which they
can act and so long as the heavy handedness of the security
forces continues," said Firas Abi Ali, Middle East and North
Africa analyst at IHS country risk in London.
An Interior Ministry spokesman was quoted by the state news
agency as blaming the Brotherhood for the attacks, calling them
"desperate attempts ... to prove their presence in the street,
especially in light of the current popular cohesion and state of
stability which the country is witnessing."
The Brotherhood, which has repeatedly said it rejects
violence, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Former army chief Sisi was sworn in as president after
winning elections last month. His supporters believe he can save
Egypt from chaos after more than three years of political and
economic turmoil following the 2011 revolt that swept veteran
autocrat Hosni Mubarak from power.
Egypt's judiciary has handed out mass death sentences to
Islamists in recent months and on Monday jailed journalists from
Al Jazeera television, accusing them of aiding the outlawed
Muslim Brotherhood, drawing international
(Additional reporting by Ali Abdelaty and Reuters TV; Editing
by Janet Lawrence and Sonya Hepinstall)