India strongly condemns attack in Cairo that killed 20, injured nearly 50 other; expresses condolences for blast victims

A huge blast which killed 20 people in Cairo was caused by a speeding car packed with explosives, Egyptian officials said on Monday. India also strongly condemned the terror attack in Egypt's capital Cairo on Wednesday and expressed its condolences to the families of the deceased.

FP Staff August 08, 2019 10:11:23 IST
India strongly condemns attack in Cairo that killed 20, injured nearly 50 other; expresses condolences for blast victims
  • A huge blast which killed 20 people in Cairo was caused by a speeding car packed with explosives, Egyptian officials said on Monday

  • Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi described the blast as a 'terrorist incident'

  • India also strongly condemned the terror attack in Egypt's capital Cairo on Wednesday and expressed its condolences to the families of the deceased

A huge blast which killed 20 people in Cairo was caused by a speeding car packed with explosives, Egyptian officials said on Monday as witnesses described carnage. The car was driving against the traffic when it smashed into three other vehicles just before midnight on Sunday evening, setting off a massive explosion just outside the country's National Cancer Institute.

"There were men without heads and people covered in blood making them unrecognisable," said Mohamed Fathy, a witness. "Some of their heads were burnt on the ground." Four of the 20 people killed remain unidentified, the health ministry said on Monday, while 47 others were wounded.

India strongly condemns attack in Cairo that killed 20 injured nearly 50 other expresses condolences for blast victims

Representational image. AFP

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi described the blast as a "terrorist incident". In a social media post, he offered his condolences to the victims' families and the Egyptian people. The interior ministry said a technical inspection indicated "an amount of explosives was inside the car, which caused it to explode when it collided."

India also strongly condemned the terror attack in Egypt's capital Cairo on Wednesday and expressed its condolences to the families of the deceased.

"India strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Cairo on the night of 4 and 5 August, 2019. We offer our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

"India stands in solidarity with the government and the people of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the fight against terrorism. The terror attack in Cairo is yet another reminder of the necessity for concerted action on the part of the International community to defeat the scourge of terrorism," the ministry said.

Khaled Megahed, a spokesman for Egypt's health ministry told in a press conference, "Three, four of the injured are in critical condition in the intensive care unit." He said that they suffered from burns of varying degrees. Body parts were retrieved from the scene, he added.

Another witness, Moham Zaki, said, "It was raining rocks and iron, I ran to my daughter to protect her. I saw she was hit by something in her head." A third witness, Mohammed, said, "At first we felt pressure, pressure around us and in our ears. After a while we heard an explosion, it was extreme, we thought it was an earthquake."

Social media users posted footage of cars ablaze at the scene and of patients being evacuated from the Cancer Institute, which was severely damaged and charred in the explosion. Megahed said 78 cancer patients from the institute were moved to other hospitals to continue their treatment. Both the interior ministry and police said they suspected the Hasm group, an armed affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, of being behind the attack.

The Hasm group emerged in 2016 and has in the past claimed responsibility for several attacks. Egyptian authorities led a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Since then, Egypt has seen a surge in sectarian attacks targeting its Christian minority and security forces. In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide offensive against jihadists, focused mainly on North Sinai, where the Islamic State group has a significant presence.

Egypt has just hosted the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament, which involved a massive security operation in Cairo and elsewhere to guard against attacks. Heavily armed personnel and armoured vehicles took up positions around stadium, and numerous checkpoints filtered the flow of people seeking to enter arenas.

With inputs from agencies

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