Egypt’s Defense Minister Vows to Fight Terrorism
Egypt’s Defense Minister, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, vowed on Thursday to fight terrorism and stabilize the deeply divided country, Al Arabiya reported.
The remarks came hours after an explosion hit a public bus in Cairo, killing one person and wounding at least five others.
“Do not worry or fear, the army will sacrifice for Egypt. We will eliminate” terrorism, Sisi was quoted as having said at a military ceremony, in his first comments after Egypt was rocked by two bomb attacks this week.
“Do not allow these terrorist actions to affect you. If you want freedom and stability, which is not achieved easily, then you have to trust God and your army and your police,” said Sisi in a statement released by the army.
Sisi, whose popularity has soared since he ousted former President Mohammed Morsi, said the defense forces had the capability to make Egypt “stable, secure and progressive,” AFP reported.
Terrorist attacks have been on the increase in Egypt since Morsi’s ouster on July 3. On Tuesday, a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.
Tuesday's attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group which has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.
Following the Mansoura attack, Egypt’s interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist group”, banning all its activities, including protests.
The Brotherhood has denied any connection to terrorism in Egypt, saying the Mansoura attack was “a direct attack on the unity of the Egyptian people” and saying it “demands an inquiry forthwith so that the perpetrators of this crime may be brought to justice".
A senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood blasted the decision to declare the organization a “terrorist group” and said the Islamists in Egypt would continue with their near-daily demonstrations despite the blacklist.