Middle East

Egyptian soldier shot dead in Cairo bus attack

Egyptian soldiers in Cairo (file photo) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There has been a spate of attacks on security forces amid a crackdown on Islamists

An Egyptian soldier has been shot dead by gunmen who attacked an army bus in a district of eastern Cairo, the military says.

Masked men opened fire on the vehicle, injuring three other soldiers, it said.

It accused the banned Muslim Brotherhood of being behind the attack. No group has claimed responsibility.

It is the latest in a series of attacks on security forces across Egypt in recent months and comes amid a crackdown on the Brotherhood movement.

The BBC's Orla Guerin in Cairo says this attack will raise concerns that Islamist militants are broadening their campaign of violence, which has killed hundreds of police and soldiers in recent months.

Militants have been targeting the army on an almost daily basis in the strategic Sinai peninsula, and they have shown their reach, by attacking police headquarters in Cairo and elsewhere, our correspondent says.

But military sources say this was the first attack on the army in the capital, our correspondent adds.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the military accused "armed men belonging to the terrorist Brotherhood group of targeting an armed forces bus... in Al-Amiriyah district".

The Brotherhood has denied similar accusations in the past.

It was designated a terrorist group in December and thousands of its members have been arrested and many put on trial since the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last summer.

Presidential elections are due to be held in April and military chief Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is expected to stand.

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