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Feb 26, 6:07 AM EST

Egypt: Series of blasts in Cairo kill 1, wound at least 7

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CAIRO (AP) -- A series of blasts in Cairo on Thursday killed one person and wounded at least seven, Egyptian security officials said, the latest in a wave of attacks using homemade explosives that authorities blame on Islamist militants.

The officials said four bombs exploded in the residential districts of Imbabah and Mohandiseen in the Egyptian capital, which is home to some 18 million people. Later, a blast outside a police station in the nearby Warraq district wounded four people, including a police conscript.

Associated Press video footage from the site of the Imbabah bomb blast showed a large pool of blood on the ground and a badly damaged car with debris covering a large area. The blast took place outside a fast food restaurant.

Also Thursday, the police bomb squad and sniffer dogs were called in to check two suspicious objects found outside Cairo's Quba presidential palace, the officials said. It turned out to be a false alarm.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi does not work out of the Quba palace, but he used it earlier this month for a pomp-filled welcome ceremony for visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Egypt has for years been battling a burgeoning insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, but attacks against army and police there have spiked since the 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Small bombings have also been carried out in Cairo and other cities, targeting public transport, shopping malls and government buildings. They have caused few casualties, but have heightened tensions four years after the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Militants have vowed to step up their campaign of violence in the run-up to a key economic conference scheduled for next month in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh. The government of el-Sissi, who led the military ouster of Morsi, is looking to the conference to attract foreign investment to revive the ailing economy.

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