By Kenneth Changpertitum
Sunday morning’s blast near the foreign ministry headquarters in Cairo, which killed three security personnel and injured seven others, has been met with widespread condemnation.
Denouncement of the attack has come from across the political spectrum, from government ministries to human rights groups, from foreign dignitaries and the United Nations, to the Anti-Coup Alliance and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Government officials reiterated their commitment to hold steadfast in their fight against terrorism.
On the Egyptian State Information Service website President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi called for a “comprehensive strategy” to deal with the problem of terrorism. He drew a parallel between the current war in Iraq and Syria and the possibility of a “civil war” in Egypt.
“I warned about the great danger a year ago,” he said. “But it was not clear to others until the events in Iraq and the ISIS [Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham] group swept over much of that country.”
In past the government has blamed the Brotherhood for militant attacks saying the group had chosen confrontation.
The Brotherhood has repeatedly rejected that claim. In a Monday statement the group condemned Sunday’s attack, emphasising once again their rejection of violence.
Gamal Heshmat, a leader in the movement said on the group’s website: “The Muslim Brotherhood is innocent of any acts of violence or terrorism in Egypt. Responsibility for those falls squarely on the military junta,” accusing the current government of the explosions “to justify Western intervention against Islamists in Egypt and the whole region.”
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) called for “the quick arrest of the perpetrators and their punishment through the maximum penalty.”
The EOHR also urged “the Egyptian authorities to quickly arrest those involved in these incidents, refer them to a fair and transparent trial, punish them, and protect the police and the army, who are assaulted from these groups which systematically commit these crimes.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attacks would not weaken the resolve of the Egyptian state “in the fight against extremist groups and the eradication of terrorism from the Egyptian society.”
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received a phone call from his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judah, who expressed his sympathy to the families of the officers killed and offered his “best wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured”.
Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, said: “We are greatly concerned by the bombing incident at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
“Our thoughts are with the victims of this heinous act, and their families. We reiterate the EU’s condemnation of terrorism in all its forms,” she added.
The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also offered his condolences and said: “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims. The UK is committed to working with the Egyptian government to defeat terrorism.”
In a meeting with Al-Sisi, the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon also condemned the deadly attack and conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims.