Italy's foreign ministry offers condolences to Cairo in killing of 8 Egyptian policemen

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 May 2016

Egyptian police and civilians gather around a bullet ridden microbus in the south Cairo neighborhood of Helwan, Sunday, May 8, 2016 (AP)

Italy on Monday expressed its condolences to Egypt over a militant shooting that killed eight policemen earlier this week, urging the international community to offer "stronger commitment" in the battle against terrorism.

"The Foreign Ministry expresses its condolences on the death of the Egyptian policemen who were killed in a terrorist attack on the outskirts of Cairo," a statement by the ministry read.

"This new attack confirms the need for stronger commitment and a cohesive stand by the entire international community in the fight against fundamentalist terrorism," the statement added.

Gunmen on sunday killed eight plain-clothed Egyptian policemen after opening fire on their mini-van in Helwan in south Cairo.

Egyptian authorities have not yet issued a report on their ongoing investigation into the case.

The victims received a military funeral by the government on Sunday afternoon.

Diplomatic relations between Cairo and Rome have been strained following the murder and death in Egypt of post-graduate Italian student Giulio Regeni, whose tortured body was found by a roadside in February. Egyptian authorities have not yet determined the culprits behind Regini's murder.

Italy has repeatedly stressed that it "demands the truth" about Regeni's murder, with Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni saying last month that the normalisation of relations with Cairo "depends on serious collaboration on Regeni's case."

Italy is one of Egypt's main European economic partners. Cairo and Rome have been collaborating on regional issues such as illegal migration across the Mediterranean as well as searching for solutions to end civil war in Libya.

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