A series of four roadside bombs in Cairo targeting security forces killed at least 6 people on Friday, amid new waves of violence in the troubled nation.
Officials claim the bomb detonated on Haram Street, which leads to the Giza Pyramids, according to an Associated Press report. The security forces were returning from continued clashes with supporters of President Mohammed Morsi, the ousted leader of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood political party who was forced from power in a de-facto coup last July.
The subsequent protests prompted the military-backed interim president to enforce a police state, which he said late Thursday had ended.
An element of deja vu haunts Egypt, where a populist uprising aligned with the Arab Spring overthrew the government of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Morsi won the presidency in a subsequent election in 2012, but soon faced harsh criticism for what some saw as his consolidating power within his party's inner circle.
Adly Mansour, the interim president and leading judge in the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, has enacted harsh police crackdowns throughout the country in an attempt to quell the political turmoil.
There has been little reform of government, the AP reports, with high profile officials lauding the police as heroes of Egyptian security. Meanwhile thousands of people have been jailed, including journalists and Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters. Protests have spread from Cairo's central Tahrir Square the seat of the 2011 revolution – into other cities throughout the northeast African nation.
The Pentagon positioned one of its sea-borne mobile Marine Corps troops, known as a Marine Expeditionary Unit, in the Red Sea last August in anticipation of violence in Egypt spinning out of control.
Egypt has subsequently been suspended from its membership to the African Union, and will not participate in the upcoming U.S.-African summit to take place in the U.S. in August.
"We have regular discussions with Egyptian leaders and authorities focused on the bilateral relationship, on security matters, but also on developments in Egypt and our belief that Egypt needs to transition to a civilian-led government," said White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday.
The U.N. late Thursday called for an end to the violence in Egypt as it approaches the third anniversary of its 2011 revolution.
"One of the central challenges moving forward is pluralism: the guarantee that all voices are heard, represented and have a stake in the system, regardless of political or religious affiliation," said a spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a statement. "Revolutions and political transitions are complex phenomena that can take years to play out. A peaceful and democratic Egypt is what the people of Egypt deserve and is critical for the entire North Africa, Middle East region and beyond."
Multiple people in Egypt posted unconfirmed photos of the aftermath of the recent bombings:
Crater of the car bomb in cairo pic.twitter.com/QDeN9V4gQz
— David D. Kirkpatrick (@ddknyt) January 24, 2014
— Egypt Independent (@EgyIndependent) January 24, 2014