A bomb exploded outside a military intelligence building northeast of Egypt’s capital Sunday, wounding four people and damaging the structure as protests and security scares roiled the country just weeks before a key vote.
The explosion in Anshas, a village in Sharqiya province, came as violent student protests at a Cairo university and its branches played on media channels across the country, only adding to the turmoil and sense of public worry in Egypt following a July 3 popularly backed military coup that toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
The military-backed interim government, wanting to cement its legitimacy, hopes for a strong voter turnout for a constitutional referendum on Jan. 14-15. The country’s interim president suggested Sunday that the order of the parliamentary and presidential polls following it could be changed.
The bombing struck the military intelligence building in Anshas, a village 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Cairo that is home to a number of military facilities, including an air base and Egypt’s first experimental nuclear reactor.
Military spokesman Ahmed Mohammed Ali said that the explosion damaged the back wall of the military intelligence office and wounded four soldiers guarding it. He said an investigation had begun to determine what caused the blast.
Ali said the blast was part of a series “of cowardly terrorist operations carried out by the forces of darkness and sedition against the people of Egypt, military installations and vital targets.”
Security officials said investigators were trying to determine whether the blast was caused by a hand grenade or a car bomb. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to journalists.