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Egyptian PM: Mansoura Attack an 'Act of Terrorism'

Egypt's interim PM says Mansoura attack is an act of terrorism, won't confirm he has fingered the Muslim Brotherhood for it.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/24/2013, 4:45 AM

An Egyptian police car set ablaze on Cairo's Six of October Bridge
An Egyptian police car set ablaze on Cairo's Six of October Bridge
AFP photo

Egypt's interim Prime Minister vowed on Monday to hunt down the perpetrators behind the explosion in the city of Mansoura, north of Cairo.

At the same time, however, Hazem El-Beblawi refused to confirm earlier remarks by his spokesman, who said that Beblawi has fingered the Muslim Brotherhood movement as being behind the attack and has declared it a "terrorist" organization.

“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 was quoted by the Al-Ahram newspaper as having told a local satellite channel.

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

Beblawi refused to confirm that Egypt has decided to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, saying, “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.”

The deadly bombings which hit the Daqahliya security directorate in Mansoura have killed at least 14 and wounded 130.

The injury and death tolls are expected to further climb with eyewitnesses saying causalities were still inside the damaged building.

The head of Mansoura's security directorate was among the injured, Daqahliya governor Omar El-Shawadfy told Egypt's state television, according to Al-Ahram.

In September, an Egyptian court ordered a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood, following the military-led ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.

The ban on the group accompanied a campaign by security forces to crush the Islamist movement in which hundreds of its members have been killed and thousands arrested.

Egypt has also frozen the assets of senior leaders of the movement and has arrested dozens of its members since Morsi’s ouster, including most of its leadership.