Salafist Organization Claims Deadly Egypt Attack
A Salafist organization in Egypt on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a security building in the city of Mansoura that killed 14 people and wounded more than 100 others, Al-Arabiya reported.
“Dakahlia Security Directorate was attacked and the operation was carried out successfully thanks be to God and to our Jihadist brothers,” the report quoted the Twitter account of the group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, as having said.
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.
The terror group has in the past also claimed responsibility for firing rockets from the Sinai Peninsula at the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
Monday night’s attack in Mansoura was one of the deadliest attacks in Egypt since the army deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has declared three days of mourning.
The army-backed government vowed to fight “black terrorism,” saying the blast would not derail a political transition plan whose next step is a January referendum on a new constitution, according to Reuters.
“We face an enemy that has no religion or nation,” Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, the survivor of an assassination attempt in Cairo in September also claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, said at the scene of the blast.
The army said a car bomb had been used in what it called a “vile terrorist attack”, while the presidency said such attacks “only increase the state’s determination to uproot terrorism.”
There were conflicting reports following the attack over whether the government had designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.
A spokesman for Egypt’s Prime Minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, said that the interim leader had fingered the Muslim Brotherhood movement as being behind the attack and has declared it a "terrorist" organization.
Beblawi himself, however, branded the Mansoura attack an “act of terrorism”, but refused to confirm that Egypt has decided to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.
“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 said.
But the Brotherhood denied any involvement in the blast and condemned it in an emailed statement to Al Jazeera.
"The Muslim Brotherhood considers this act as a direct attack on the unity of the Egyptian people and demands an enquiry forthwith so that the perpetrators of this crime may be brought to justice," the statement said.