Car bomb near Egypt army intelligence building wounds six

Reuters

* Car bomb causes building's outer wall to collapse

* Army began campaign against Sinai militants in September

By Youssry Ahmad

ISMAILIA, Oct 19 (Reuters) - A car bomb exploded on Saturdaynear an Egyptian army intelligence building in the Suez Canalcity of Ismailia, wounding at least six soldiers, securitysources said.

No group has claimed responsibility, but al Qaeda-linkedIslamist militants in the largely lawless Sinai region havestepped up attacks on soldiers and police since the army toppledIslamist President Mohamed Mursi in July. The militants have onoccasion extended their campaign into major cities.

Military spokesman Ahmed Ali said in a statement the bombingwas "a continuation of the wave of cowardly terrorist attacks",by groups he described as promoting strife.

Security personnel searching the area found another carbomb, which had not gone off, state media and security sourcessaid. Heavy smoke could be seen rising from a building nearby.

The force of the blast caused part of the militaryintelligence building's outer wall to collapse.

Some security sources said the bomb was planted in a carbelonging to a doctor who lived in a nearby building.

In September the army launched a campaign against armedmilitants in Sinai, a desert region whose Bedouin population haslong complained of neglect by successive governments in Cairo.

Egypt's turmoil has intensified since the army deposed Mursiand installed a new government, saying it was responding to massprotests against the freely elected president's rule.

Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, once again outlawed in Egypt asit was under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, called the Islamistleader's overthrow a military coup.

Security forces cracked down on the group on Aug. 14,crushing two protest camps in Cairo and killing hundreds ofpeople. Many Brotherhood members have been arrested. Mursi andother Brotherhood leaders face charges of inciting violence.

The Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest and biggest Islamist group,rejects the charges and denies any links with militant activity.

Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the man who toppledMursi, was quoted by state media on Saturday as saying army andpolice forces were working together to "confront terrorism andall those who try to create problems and incite strife betweenthe children of this nation".

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