Police funeral

Mourners and members of the Egyptian security forces carry the coffin of police Gen. Mohamed Saeed, who was killed outside his home in Cairo. (Mahmud Khaled / AFP/Getty Images / January 28, 2014)

CAIRO -- Drive-by gunmen on Tuesday assassinated a police general outside his home in the capital, state media reported, in the rare targeting of a senior member of Egypt’s security establishment.  

The slain man was identified by the state-owned Al Ahram website as Gen. Mohamed Saeed, a top aide to Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who himself escaped an attempt in September to kill him with a suicide bomb.

Although suspected Islamic militants have been launching frequent attacks against security targets such as headquarters buildings and army outposts, the singling out of a particular official for assassination is a rarity.

The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, is hated by many for its heavy-handed role in breaking up demonstrations, mainly by backers of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, but also by secularists who oppose the military-backed government that took power in July.

The human rights group Amnesty International said earlier this month that about 1,400 people had been killed in political violence in the nearly seven months the interim government has been in power.

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laura.king@latimes.com

Twitter: @laurakingLAT