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Mansoura attack retaliation for dispersal of Islamist sit-ins: Egypt interior minister

Egypt's interior minister says the Mansoura attack that left 13 dead and 134 injured came in retaliation to the violent dispersal by security forces of two pro-Morsi protest camps mid-August

Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Dec 2013
Mohamed Ibrahim
Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim tours the scene of an explosion at a police headquarters building that killed at least a dozen people, wounded over 100, and left scores buried under the rubble, in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, 110 kilometres (70 miles) north of Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)
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Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said Tuesday the Mansoura deadly attack came in retaliation to the violent dispersal by security forces of two Islamist protest camps in Cairo in August.

In the early hours of Tuesday, deadly bombings hit the Daqahliya Security Directorate in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura.

The blast killed 13 and injured 134 in what appears to be the worst terrorist attack since Morsi’s ouster. Eight policemen, a civilian and three unidentified individuals were among the dead, Egypt's Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Ibrahim blamed the attack on the Muslim Brotherhood, saying the group sought to exact revenge from security forces, after two main Islamist protest camps were dispersed mid-August.

The Muslim Brotherhood condemned the Mansoura attack, saying it considered it as "a direct attack on the unity of the Egyptian people," calling for "an enquiry forthwith so that the perpetrators of this crime may be brought to justice."

On 14 August, security forces forcefully dispersed two large Islamist protest camps, set in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares, to demand the reinstatement of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, ousted in July following nationwide mass protests against his rule. 

The intervention left at least six hundred protesters and more than 30 police officers dead.

Since Morsi's ouster, militants have stepped up their attacks against security forces, targeting police stations and security checkpoints throughout the country.

Morsi’s group, the Muslim Brotherhood, have also faced a harsh crackdown, with thousands of its members arrested, and hundreds others killed in clashes with security forces.

Tuesday, the interior minister visited the scene of the attack and the Mansoura International Hospital where some of the wounded were undergoing treatment.

As Egyptians are expected to vote in mid-January on the amendments made by a constituent panel to the 2012 Islamist-drafted constitution, the interior minister said security will be fortified on the day of the public referendum.

“The day of the referendum will pass like a normal day and will be a day of celebration for all of us; the polls will be placed under the highest security,” Ibrahim said.

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