Protesters clash with riot police along a road at Kornish El Nile which leads to the US embassy, near Tahrir Square in Cairo. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A senior Egyptian police officer was killed after an explosive device placed under his car went off in a western Cairo suburb on Wednesday while another officer died in a raid on a militant hideout in the country's second-largest city, officials said.
The deaths came amid stepped-up attacks against Egyptian police and military as militant groups wage an increasingly violent campaign following the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
In the Cairo attack, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Zaki was heading to work from his home in the 6th of October suburb when the bomb detonated under his car, wounding him critically. He later died in the hospital, security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Two conscripts were wounded in the attack.
And in Egypt's second-largest city, Alexandria, Lt. Ahmed Saad was shot and killed during a raid on a militant hideout, officials said. Alexandria's police chief Police Maj. Gen. Amin Ezzedin told Egypt's state news agency MENA that suspected militants fired at the police force raiding their hideout.
Ezzedine said one suspect was also killed in the shootout, and another was arrested. Two explosive belts, machine guns and homemade bombs were seized in the raid in the Borg al-Arab district of Alexandria.
There has been a surge in political violence since Morsi's overthrow in July.
Al-Qaida-inspired and other militant groups have claimed most of the larger attacks on troops - attacks they say are meant to avenge a government crackdown on pro-Morsi and other Islamist protesters.
Security forces have killed more than 1,300 Morsi supporters and detained another 16,000 - including the ousted leader himself - in a sweeping crackdown on Islamists.
Suspected militants, meanwhile, have killed more than 450 policemen and soldiers in clashes and attacks, the government says.
On Sunday, gunmen killed a police captain and a conscript in a firefight on a desert road outside Cairo. And two days earlier, a bomb targeting a traffic post in a busy square in Cairo killed a policeman.
Egypt has also seen high-profile attacks, such as a massive car bombing that struck Cairo's main security headquarters in January and a failed assassination attempt on the interior minister last September. The high-profile attacks have subsided lately but assassinations and attacks against police posts have grown more frequent.