CAIRO — Gunmen attacked a police patrol in Cairo, killing three policemen and wounding five before fleeing the scene, Egypt's Interior Ministry said Tuesday.
The attack late Monday was claimed by a shadowy group known as Hasm, or "Decisiveness," which the government suspects is linked to the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.
The ministry said gunmen in two cars attacked the police patrol in the Nasr City neighbourhood , and that police returned fire. It said two of the three policemen killed had attained the rank of captain.
The attack came two days after Pope Francis wrapped up a visit to Egypt during which security was exceptionally tight.
The Hasm group has claimed several previous attacks in Cairo, usually targeting police. It claimed a shooting attack against a former chief Muslim theologian and a car bombing against the deputy of the chief prosecutor. Both men escaped unharmed.
Insurgent attacks have dramatically increased in Egypt since the military's 2013 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, a senior Brotherhood figure. The violence has been concentrated in the northern Sinai Peninsula, where Islamic State-linked militants are battling the army.
The Islamic State affiliate has claimed three church bombings on the mainland since December that killed dozens of worshippers.
Maamoun Youssef, The Associated Press