Egyptian security officials say they have arrested a man suspected of throwing a suspected explosive device near the heavily fortified US embassy in the heart of Cairo, Egypt’s capital.
The suspect was held by passers-by before being arrested by police on Tuesday.
The security officials said the device was spotted outside the concrete barriers that encircle the embassy and the ambassador’s residence in the leafy Garden City district.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Witnesses told dpa news agency that the man threw the device at the embassy, but it bounced back after hitting a concrete barrier close to the building, causing smoke to rise.
A source told the New Arab website that the suspect was a man in his 20s who was wearing white trousers and a black T-shirt.
He had concealed the explosive device in a suitcase he was carrying, the source added.
The streets around the embassy have for decades been heavily policed, with concrete barriers blocking vehicular traffic in its immediate vicinity.
The US embassy said in a tweet that it was “aware of a reported incident” near the embassy and advised US citizens to avoid the area.
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• نحن على علم بواقعة حدثت في شارع سيمون بوليفار في القاهرة. يرجى تجنب المنطقة ومراقبة وسائل الإعلام المحلية للحصول على المستجدات. نحن على علم بالتقارير التي تفيد بأن المواصلات العامة بالقرب من المنطقة قد تعطلت بسبب الحادث. يرجى توخي الحذر.
— US Embassy Cairo (@USEmbassyCairo) September 4, 2018
Translation: We are aware of an incident on the Simone Bolivar Street in Cairo. Please avoid the area and keep an eye on the local media for updates. We are aware of reports that public transport near the area has been disrupted by the accident. Please be careful.
It added that the incident occurred on Simon Bolivar Street, which is located just metres from the building.
The US embassy later tweeted that the police had completed their investigations at the scene, and that normal operations had resumed.