Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Egypt: Breaking News in Mansoura, 14 Killed, 100 Injured in Attack on Security Headquarters, Casualties Likely to Rise

According to The Los Angeles Times, a powerful detonation of an IED at a security headquarters early Tuesday (March 11), some 75 miles from the capital of Cairo.

It is expected that the death toll of those injured and killed are surely to rise.

Egyptian authorities described the attack in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura as the most serious of its kind since the military-backed government took power almost six months ago. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Egypt’s interim prime minister, Hazem Beblawi, called it a terrorist act.

Officials swiftly cast blame on Islamist groups, and called the attack an attempt to derail next month’s scheduled referendum on the country’s new constitution.

Egyptian television showed floodlit scenes of large crowds gathered outside the partially collapsed security building, while medical personnel worked frantically to treat the injured and search for survivors.

COMMENT: An undetermined number of police were in the building at the time of detonation.

In the months since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was removed from power in a popularly supported army coup, attacks against security forces have become commonplace in the Sinai Peninsula, and in and near the Suez Canal city of Ismailia.

In September 2013, the interior minister escaped an attempt to assassinate him with a suicide bomb in Cairo. A Sinai-based militant group known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for that attack.

Mansoura was well-chosen, considering it has had frequent protests by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood calling for Morsi's reinstatement.

All foreign tourists should be cognizant of the fact that Egypt is NOT safe for tourism, given unpredictable acts of terrorism nationwide. 

See https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt