At least three people were killed and several injured when an explosive device carried by a militant exploded in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Monday, according to a statement from the interior ministry.
The dead include the militant and two policemen who were pursuing him when the device exploded.
The blast occurred in the city’s historic centre close to the Al Azhar mosque and left several people wounded, two security sources said.
According to the ministry, security forces were pursuing the man as part of the search for the perpetrator of an attempted attack against a police patrol in western Cairo on Friday.
After catching the suspect in Cairo’s ancient Islamic district close to the Al Azhar mosque, “one of the explosive devices in his possession exploded, causing the death of the terrorist and the martyrdom of a police officer from national security and an officer from Cairo investigations (department)”, the statement said.
At least three civilians were also injured, security sources said.
Friday’s attempted attack left two policemen and three civilians with minor injuries when a home-made bomb exploded during an attempt to defuse it, security sources said at the time.
Egyptian security forces have been waging a campaign against Islamist militants over the past year focused on Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.READ MORE: 15 troops killed, others injured in North Sinai
Attacks in the capital are relatively rare, though a roadside bomb in Giza killed three Vietnamese tourists and a Egyptian guide in December.