Egypt's Brotherhood, Islamist groups denounce Taba terrorist attack

Ahram Online, MENA, Monday 17 Feb 2014

Responses vary, with the Muslim Brotherhood calling for a quick investigation into Sunday's bombing and the pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) directly blaming interim authorities for the attack

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups have denounced Sunday's deadly bomb attack in South Sinai on a tourist bus and called for the culprits to be brought to justice.

The Brotherhood, from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails, published a brief statement on its website Monday, demanding that justice be served through transparent procedures as soon as possible.

The Brotherhood was officially deemed a terrorist organisation by Egypt's interim authorities following an explosion at a police headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura which left 16 dead.

The ultra-conservative Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya also released a statement Monday denouncing the bombing, adding that killing peaceful tourists is forbidden by Islam, state-run MENA reported.

The group also said that it is increasingly worried at the number of individuals who are using violence to confront an ongoing security crackdown against both Islamist and secular protesters.

Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya was responsible for a 1997 terrorist attack in Luxor governorate which left at least 58 foreigners and four Egyptians dead. Since then the group has abandoned violence, and denounced all terrorist attacks following Morsi's ouster.

However, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), a pro-Morsi coalition of Islamic groups including the Brotherhood and Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, adopted a harsher tone towards Sunday's attack in Taba.

In a statement published on the NASL's official Facebook page, the coalition accused Egypt's "coup authorities" – the current interim government – of being too busy "chasing after peaceful protesters and increasing oppression and poverty" to prevent terrorist attacks.

Interior ministry spokesperson Hani Abdel-Latif said on Monday that the bomb attack was caused by a suicide bomber who boarded the bus and detonated the explosion immediately after.

Attacks on army and police personnel have spiked following Morsi's ouster. Sunday's bombing, though, is the first to directly target tourists.

Egyptian liberal and leftist political groups were quick to denounce the attack on Sunday.

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