Gunmen have opened fire on a security checkpoint in northern Cairo, killing several soldiers. Two bombs have also been defused at the scene of the shooting, according to authorities.
The Egyptian army blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the shooting deaths of at least five soldiers on Saturday, two days after an army officer was killed in an attack on a military bus in Cairo.
"An armed group belonging to the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood attacked a military police checkpoint, leading to the martyrdom of five conscripts," said Colonel Ahmed Ali, an army spokesman.
The Muslim Brotherhood did not immediately respond to the military's accusation. But the Islamist organization has condemned a campaign of hit-and-run attacks against security forces since the July overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
The militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, on the other hand, has claimed responsibility for several high-profile attacks. Based in the Sinai Peninsula, the group tried to assassinate the Egyptian interior minister last year. It has also claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Cairo police station and shooting down a military helicopter in Sinai.
More than 200 police and soldiers have died in attacks since Morsi's ouster last July. After the coup against the democratically elected Islamist, security forces launched a crackdown on his supporters, which has killed around 1,400 people, according to Amnesty International.
The Muslim Brotherhood's leadership has been jailed and the organization has been banned for allegedly being a terrorist organization.
slk/jr (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)