An explosion at the Daqahlia Governorate security directorate on Monday night has killed at least 15 people and injured over 100.
Thousands in the delta city attended the burial of the victims on Tuesday afternoon.
The bomb, which was detonated at around one o’clock on Tuesday morning in the delta city of Mansoura, resulted in the collapse of the façade of the directorate and inflicted damage on surrounding buildings including the city council, National Theatre, and the United Bank, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior.
The dozens of injured were transferred to Talkha Hospital, Mansoura General Hospital, the Mansoura International Hospital, and the El Mansoura University Emergency Hospital.
The interior ministry added that it was carrying out urgent investigations at the site of the explosion and would announce its findings and details concerning developments surrounding the situation.
Both Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim and Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat visited the scene of the blast on Tuesday. A team of senior-level prosecutors and advisors accompanied Barakat, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
The cause of the explosion was a car bomb that targeted the directorate, according to a statement issued by the armed forces.
“We stress that such operations are cowardly and carried out by a misguided group,” said the armed forces in its statement, adding that the attack would “increase [its] resolve and determination to cleanse the homeland of the bats of darkness.”
Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said the latest attack was part of a long series of murders and threats to security of the people, adding that “what happened [in Mansoura] was the height of offence to this nation.”
“Terrorism has social, political, ethical, and legal aspects,” said the prime minister. “Yesterday’s incident is terrorism by all these aspects and the law will take its course and we will not compromise with anyone,” he added.
El-Beblawi also referred to a court ruling ordering the ban of the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that the state would implement the ruling “rigorously.”
Official spokesman of the cabinet Hany Salah extended his condolences to families of the victims of the attack, according to state-owned MENA. He added that a central operations committee had been formed immediately following the attack and was being overseen by of Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Health Maha Rabat, Governor of Daqahlia Omar Al-Shawadfy, and security director of the governorate Sameh Al-Mihy.
Residents of Mansoura gathered at the security directorate on Tuesday in support of the armed forces and police. Demonstrators set fire to a vehicle in the afternoon that they thought belonged to a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Al-Dostour Party expressed its “unequivocal condemnation of such cowardly acts of terrorism.”
“Although it is not pointing fingers at any particular terrorist organisation, Al-Dostour Party calls on the Muslim Brotherhood to bear the responsibility and acknowledge its grave mistakes that led to increased tension and escalation of clashes with security forces,” added the party.
The Free Egyptians Party called on the government to take “resolute action” and classify the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation. The party has also pressured the government to push the United Nations and all international organisations to include the Muslim Brotherhood in a list of terrorist groups, also calling on the government to “prosecute its members and dry up the sources of funding.”
The party also said the violence would not stop Egyptians from voting “yes” in the upcoming constitutional referendum to “completely eliminate the fascist project and the failed Brotherhood.”
Al-Tayyar Al-Shaaby also called on the interim government to classify the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation and to push for international organisations and other governments to do the same.
“Al-Tayyar Al-Shaaby…stresses the need for the government’s commitment to complete the [roadmap] of the future and end the transitional period without laxity or retreat,” said the group in its statement.
Misr Al-Qawia Party also expressed its condolences and its “clear condemnation” of the incident, adding that “authorities…are legally responsible for providing security and safety for all Egyptians, and it is the responsibility for the administration of justice between the people and rule of law.”
Chairman of Salafi Al-Nour Party Younis Makhioun called the explosion a “new episode in a series of conspiracies targeting Egypt”, and urged Egyptians to “work to create a climate of peace instead of violence.” Secretary-general of the party Galal Morra called on all political forces to unite and said the perpetrators of the attack “have no place but the gallows.”
The Muslim Brotherhood also condemned the attack calling on the perpetrators to be brought to justice. The group also held interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi responsible for the attack, accusing him of “exploiting the blood of innocent Egyptians through inflammatory statements designed to create further violence, chaos, and instability.”
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party indicated that it suspected prominent Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris for being behind the attacks.
Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya condemned the attack “whatever group stands behind it”, adding that “political disagreement cannot be resolved through violence.”
The Islamist group also called on a “serious and transparent” investigation to inform all Egyptians about the circumstances surrounding the attack without “throwing unsubstantiated accusations.”
The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) said that such attacks “threaten Egypt’s national security and push the country to the edge of a cliff” and called for authorities to speedily bring the perpetrators to justice.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said that it was “necessary to conduct an urgent investigation in the treacherous attack on the Mansoura security directorate and prosecute suspects through all legal venues.”
The Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Cairo condemned the terrorist attack “on the strongest possible terms.”
“We support the Egyptian government’s efforts to bring those responsible to justice,” added the statement issued on Tuesday.
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary William Hague “strongly condemned the terrorist attack.”
“The Egyptian people are determined to build a stable and prosperous country for themselves and we stand with them at this difficult time,” added Hague in his Tuesday statement.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates said it “strongly condemns this cowardly terrorist and criminal act which aims to destabilise the security and stability of our sister Egypt and is incompatible with all religious and humanitarian values and principles.”
Secretary-general of the Arab League Nabil Al-Araby called on all forces in Egypt to “renounce violence and acts of terrorism” and stressed the need to “exercise wisdom and reason during this transitional period to complete the implementation of the roadmap.”