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Mansoura’s bombing aims at obstructing road map: Egypt PM

Karim Farouk , Tuesday 24 Dec 2013
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Egypt Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi vowed to hunt down the perpetrators of a powerful explosion in the Nile Delta City of Mansoura, saying the attack aimed at obstructing a roadmap drawn up by the country’s interim rulers following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July.

Deadly bombings hit the Daqahliya security directorate early on Tuesday in Mansoura, killing at least 14 and injuring 130.

“This is an act of terrorism that aims at frightening the people and obstructing the road map. The black hands behind this act want to destroy the future of our country,” Beblawi told Egyptian satellite channel ONTV.

“The state will do its utmost to pursue the criminals who executed, planned and supported that attack."

El-Beblawi refused to confirm that Egypt has decided to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, contradicting an earlier statement by one of his aides.

“Whoever is behind this act is a terrorist and will be brought to justice and punished according to the law. But I don’t want to anticipate the incidents," he added.

The final phase of Egypt's road map will begin next month when a referendum on the newly-drafted constitution takes place. It will be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections. 

A good number of bombings have been executed across Egypt since the ouster of Islamist president Morsi on 3 July amid mass protests against his rule.

On 24 July, an explosive device went off at a police station near the security directorate in Mansoura, killing at least one conscript and injuring 19.

Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, on 5 September, survived an assassination attempt when a bomb detonated near his convoy in northeast Cairo.

Numerous police stations were also attacked across the country in the immediate aftermath of the bloody crackdown on pro-Morsi sit-ins in August. Attacks are always blamed on suspected Islamists incensed at his removal.

Ansar Jerusalem, or Ansar Beit al-Maqdis as the group is known, has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, including the attempt to assassinate the interior minister.

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