Egypt sacks Cairo police chief after bombings

Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and other officials walk past the bombed compound of the Italian consulate in Cairo on July 13, 2015 (AFP Photo/Khaled Desouki)

Cairo (AFP) - Egypt sacked Cairo police chief General Osama Bedair on Thursday, days after separate car bombings killed the country's top prosecutor and struck the Italian consulate.

The interior ministry said in a statement that Bedair was replaced by his deputy, General Khalid Abdel Aal, but gave no reason for the decision.

"Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffar ordered the removal of Cairo police chief General Osama Bedair, and assigned General Khalid Abdel Aal to replace him," the statement said.

The sacking of Bedair comes days after a car bomb exploded Saturday outside the Italian consulate in the centre of Cairo, killing a civilian and wounding nine people.

The attack was the first against a foreign mission in Egypt since the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

It came after a June 29 car bomb attack in an upscale Cairo neighbourhood killed the country's top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat.

The consulate bombing was claimed by the jihadist Islamic State group, which is spearheading a deadly insurgency against security forces, mostly in the restive Sinai Peninsula, and other parts of Egypt.

There has been no claim of responsibility for Barakat's murder.

On Thursday the Islamic State group claimed a missile attack on an Egyptian navy vessel off North Sinai.

Jihadists say their attacks are in retaliation for a government crackdown launched against Morsi's supporters since his ouster.

Hundreds have been killed and thousands imprisoned in the crackdown.

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