CAIRO — Gunmen opened fire on a microbus filled with plainclothes police in a Cairo suburb early Sunday, killing eight of them, including an officer, Egypt’s state news agency reported.
The attack was the deadliest in the heavily policed capital since November, when gunmen attacked a security checkpoint, killing four policemen.
MENA said the police were inspecting security in the south Cairo suburb of Helwan early Sunday when four gunmen in a pickup opened fire on them.
Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar ordered an investigation into the attack, calling the eight “heroes of the police martyrs who sacrificed their lives to preserve the security of the homeland and the people.”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s attack, which carried the hallmarks of Islamic militants.
Militants have been targeting security forces in the Sinai Peninsula for years, but their attacks have grown more deadly and frequent since the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Sinai is the base of a local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group, which is now spearheading the insurgency.
While most of the unrest has been centered in the northern part of Sinai, there have been attacks in the mainland as well, mainly small-scale bombings targeting police. The frequency of attacks in the mainland had declined in recent months.