The White House has condemned a fatal car bombing on Monday that killed one of Egypt’s top judicial authorities.
"The United States stands by Egypt at this difficult time, as we continue to work together to fight the scourge of terrorism," the White House said in a statement.
Egyptian public prosecutor Hisham Barakat died on Monday after being wounded in a targeted bomb explosion in a Cairo neighbourhood.
Barakat was taken to the nearby al-Nozha hospital after being wounded in the attack, which occurred in the residential district of Heliopolis near a military faculty as his convoy was passing, state news agency MENA reported.
He underwent surgery for a broken nose and shoulder in addition to being injured by glass shrapnel.
Health Minister Adel Adawi told reporters outside al-Nozha hospital where Barakat was admitted that the cause of death was "ruptures in the lung and stomach, and internal bleeding."
Pictures posted on Twitter showed the bombing site, with burnt cars surrounding the scene.
Two people were killed when militants targeted Barakat's office earlier this year, as tensions in Egypt run high over mass death sentences handed down to Muslim Brotherhood members, including the country’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi who was deposed in a military coup in July 2013.
In a separate attack on May 16, a car carrying three young judges was riddled with bullets. An affiliate of ISIS in the Sinai province claimed responsibility for the attack.
Barakat was the judge who issued the green light for the Rabaa and Nahda camps dispersal, in which hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters died just weeks after Morsi was deposed.
A group called the "Giza Popular Resistance" claimed responsibility for the attack in a Facebook post in which the group said it “targeted the public prosecutor of the the coup judiciary, Hisham Barakat, during his movement in front of his home in the New Egypt neighbourhood as his car and other two cars were bombed.”
The group, which claimed responsibility for such earlier attacks on policemen, had released a video in which they threatened Egyptian security forces and police with revenge attacks on the anniversary of the 30 June protests that led to the coup two years ago.
The attack comes after a militant group called “Sinai Province“ affiliated to ISIS called for targeting the judiciary.
Judge Nagy Shehata, one of the judges who handed down mass death sentences to the Muslim Brotherhood and other peaceful political activists commented on the call by saying he’s not the least bit scared, and that God will protect him.