Egyptian Pyramids
The Egyptian pyramids at Giza.Reuters

Three police officers have been killed and at least 17 people are believed to have been injured after a bomb went off in an apartment a team of police officers were raiding. The apartment, in the suburb of Giza and near the pyramids in Cairo, is suspected to be a hideout of militants.

Egyptian police were questioning residents and searching apartments of more than 5,000 homes in central Cairo ahead of Monday's (25 January) anniversary of the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak. Security officials said the authorities were trying to prevent street protests ahead of the 25 January Arab Spring uprising.

The search campaign was based on surveillance and intelligence gathered over months and primarily focused on young, pro-democracy activists in and out of the country, including foreigners, a senior official said.

The interior ministry blamed the incident on the blacklisted Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

"Police had information that a group of Muslim Brotherhood members were preparing to carry out aggressive acts in the coming days using explosives and crude bombs," the ministry said on its Facebook page, Firstpost reported.

The Cairo bomb blast comes after gunmen killed five policemen on 20 January when they attacked a checkpoint in the North Sinai town of El-Arish.

The Islamic State jihadist group's Egyptian affiliate, the Sinai Province, claimed that attack.