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Africa

Deadly car bomb rocks Egyptian police HQ

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-24

A powerful explosion believed to be caused by a car bomb rocked a police headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura early on Tuesday, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 100.

The interim government accused the Muslim Brotherhood of orchestrating the attack, branding it a “terrorist organisation”.

The Middle East News Agency (MENA) quoted cabinet spokesman Sherif Shawki as saying that the Muslim Brotherhood showed its “ugly face as a terrorist organisation shedding blood and messing with Egypt's security”.

"The majority of the casualties are from the police. The explosion was caused by a car bomb," Omar al-Shawatsi, the governor of Daqahleya, of which Mansoura is the capital, told state media.

The impact of the explosion was felt around 20 kilometres (12 miles) away and shattered windows of nearby buildings, the security sources said.

The head of the security for Daqahleya, Sami El-Mihi, was wounded in the blast and two of his aides were killed, security sources said.

The death toll is expected to rise, a state official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press.

The attack comes shortly after the Islamic militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, or the Champions of Jerusalem, said it considers Egyptian troops to be infidels because they answer to the secular-leaning military-backed government.

The group and others based in the Sinai have claimed responsibility for a number of suicide car bombings and deadly attacks on security headquarters since the July coup that toppled the country's former Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

In response, Egypt's armed forces launched an offensive against militants in the northern Sinai province in August.

Egypt is set to hold a referendum on a new constitution that is billed by the military-installed authorities as the first step towards democratic rule after Morsi's ouster.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

Date created : 2013-12-24

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