TWO Egyptian police officers have been killed while trying to defuse makeshift bombs planted near Cairo's presidential palace by Islamist militants close to the anniversary of the army's overthrow of an elected Islamist president.

Radical Islamists have repeatedly attacked police and soldiers since the ousting of President Mohamed Mursi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The militant group Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, said it had planted several bombs near the presidential palace to target security forces before realising civilians could be in danger. It later released a statement saying it had been unable to remove the devices and urging passers-by to be cautious.

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One police officer was killed as security forces tried to deactivate a bomb found at that location and a second officer was killed during a similar operation in a nearby street.