CAIRO - A bomb exploded near a police checkpoint on bridge in an affluent Cairo neighbourhood on Sunday, killing an officer, Egyptian police officials said.

The bomb had been placed next to the checkpoint on a side of the May 15 bridge located in the neighbourhood of Zamalek, the officials said. Two people were wounded in the blast, which tore the victim’s body to pieces, a health ministry official said. An AFP correspondent said there was a pool of blood next to the checkpoint.

A police official said the bomb went off as the driver of a minivan pulled over to ask the police officer a question, likely for directions.  Militants have repeatedly set off bombs in Cairo targeting police checkpoints and vehicles. The more sophisticated attacks have been claimed by jihadist group Ajnad Misr, which says they were carried out in retaliation for the deaths of hundreds of Islamist protesters in the past two years.

The group has claimed responsibility for bombings outside the presidential palace and foreign ministry that killed four policemen last year, two of them explosives experts.

After the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, authorities unleashed an extensive crackdown on his supporters that left hundreds dead and thousands in prison.

Ajnad Misr has said it deliberately uses low yield bombs to avoid harming passersby, but there has also been an uptick in civilian casualties.

A bomb outside Cairo University last month wounded four civilians and four policemen.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, the strongest political movement before his overthrow, has been designated a terrorist group although it denies it is violent.

But some of its members are believed to have resorted to plotting attacks on policemen after the crackdown drove them underground.

In the Sinai peninsula, jihadists affiliated to the Islamic State group have killed scores of security personnel, including at least 15 soldiers in coordinated attacks last week.

The military says it has killed a number of the militants in Sinai in response, and on Sunday broadcast footage of bodies of dead suspected militants.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who toppled Morsi then won elections, has staked his leadership on eradicating the militant groups.

Attacks have dwindled in the past year as the government tries to attract investment and tourism.

But this month’s attacks have shown militants can still operate despite the massive crackdown and harsh court verdicts against those arrested.

Civilian and military courts have sentenced dozens to death, although only one sentence has been carried out so far, by hanging.

Morsi himself could face the gallows if convicted in one of his trials on charges of espionage with foreign powers and collusion to carry out attacks with militants before he became Egypt’s first democratically elected president in 2012.