Tuesday 19 September 2017

Egypt declares Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group after bomb attack

Mourners surge in a crowd towards a vehicle carrying wrapped bodies during a funeral service for policemen and people killed in a car bomb explosion, near Al Naser Mosque in Egypt's Nile Delta city of Mansoura in Dakahlyia province, 120 km northeast of Cairo.
Mourners surge in a crowd towards a vehicle carrying wrapped bodies during a funeral service for policemen and people killed in a car bomb explosion, near Al Naser Mosque in Egypt's Nile Delta city of Mansoura in Dakahlyia province, 120 km northeast of Cairo.

Maggie Michael

Egypt's military-backed interim government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, criminalising its activities, its financing and even membership of the group from which the country's ousted president hails.

The move is aimed at crippling the Brotherhood and represents a dramatic escalation of the fight between the government and the group, which has waged near-daily protests since the July 3 coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi.

Hossam Eissa, the Minister of Higher Education, said the move was in response to Tuesday's bombing of a police headquarters in Mansoura, which killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.

The Brotherhood has denied the Mansoura attack and an al-Qaida inspired group has claimed responsibility.

BOMBING

"Egypt was horrified from north to south by the hideous crime committed by the Muslim Brotherhood group," Mr Eissa said. "This was in the context of a dangerous escalation of violence against Egypt and Egyptians (and) a clear declaration by the Muslim Brotherhood group that it is still knows nothing but violence.

"It's not possible for Egypt the state nor Egypt the people to submit to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorism."

Mr Eissa offered no evidence in his speech linking the Brotherhood to Tuesday's attack.

The Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928, denounced violence in the late 1970s.

Ibrahim Elsayed, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's political group, the Freedom and Justice Party, said the government's move would have no impact.

"It has no value for us and is only worth the paper it is written on," he said. "It won't impact us from near and far. Ideas won't be impacted by false accusations. We uphold this call only for the sake of God."

Irish Independent

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