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Roadside bomb kills Egypt policemen

A roadside bomb has gone off on a busy Cairo street near the Nile-side Egyptian Foreign Ministry, killing two senior policemen.

In a separate incident, a military helicopter on a training mission crashed in an oasis province some 65 miles south west of Cairo, killing six people.

The crash in Fayoum was caused by a technical malfunction, officials said, and Defence Minister General Sedki Sobhi ordered an investigation into the incident.

The 10.45am blast in Cairo targeted a police checkpoint near the back gate of the 34-storey ministry building.

Several people were wounded and Lt Cols Khaled Saafan and Mohammed Abu Sreeah were killed. Several other policemen were wounded by the blast, including a police major general and another lieutenant colonel.

Security officials said seven people were injured in the blast and that security forces evacuated four nearby schools as a precaution while bomb squad teams combed the area searching for more explosives.

At the Foreign Ministry, security was immediately beefed up after the blast, with security men thoroughly checking cars and bags. Security was also stepped up at the nearby building housing state television and radio.

The blast coincided with the reopening of schools after the summer break, an occasion that routinely sees massive traffic congestion throughout the city of some 18 million people.

Egypt has faced a violent campaign by militants since last year's ousting of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. The campaign has mostly targeted security forces, first in the Sinai Peninsula, but more recently in the capital, the Nile Delta and remote areas such as the western desert.

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