A bomb blast tore through a police compound in Egypt’s Nile Delta on Tuesday, killing 12 people and wounding 134 in one of the deadliest attacks since the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July.
The army-backed government vowed to fight “black terrorism”, saying the blast would not derail a political transition plan whose next step was a January referendum on a new constitution.
Mohamed Ibrahim, Interior Minister, said while inspecting the scene of the blast that eight policemen were among the dead.
He said the police were investigating exactly how it had been staged.
The army said a car bomb had been used in what it called a “vile terrorist attack”, while the presidency said such attacks “only increase the state’s determination to uproot terrorism”.
The government has accused the Brotherhood of turning to violence.
Meanwhile, the Brotherhood in a statement from its London media office, condemned the blast as “an attack on the unity of the Egyptian people”.
Witnesses in Mansoura said many cars inside and outside the security compound were burnt and the entire city was in chaos as people hurried to hospitals to check on victims.
Some analysts say Egypt could face a sustained Islamist insurrection, a risk compounded by a flood of weapons smuggled out of neighbouring Libya since the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi began there almost three years ago.
Egypt has suffered the deadliest internal strife in its modern history since the army deposed Mursi, the nation’s first freely elected leader, on July 3 after big protests against him.
The security forces killed hundreds of his supporters as part of a campaign to repress his Muslim Brotherhood, while lethal attacks on the security forces have become commonplace.