JOHANNESBURG – Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh el Sisi says the car explosion which killed 20 people, and wounded another 47, in central Cairo overnight Sunday was an act of terrorism, according to media reports.
A car travelling at high speed in the opposite direction to the flow of traffic on the corniche exploded outside the country’s National Cancer Institute after slamming into oncoming cars, setting a number of vehicles on fire.
Egyptian officials confirmed the vehicle had been packed with explosives.
The armed affiliate of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, the Hasm group, is reported to be behind the attack, according to the ministry of the interior and the police.
The injured were rushed to hospital with private citizens also ferrying the wounded due to a shortage of ambulances as body parts were flung around the scene.
Four of those killed remain unidentified while several others remain in a critical condition with a number of those wounded suffering serous burn injuries.
Sis has offered his condolences to the victims’ families and to the Egyptian people in general.
For years the North African country has been fighting an insurgency by religious extremists linked to Al-Qaeda on the restive Sinai Peninsula who have targeted both civilians and security forces.
However, the Muslim Brotherhood was forced to go underground after a 2013 military coup overthrew its leader Muhammad Morsi - the country’s first democratically elected president after he won the 2012 elections - paving the way for Sisi to take power.
Morsi died in June as he appeared before a Cairo court in a cage, facing charges of espionage . His supporters allege that his ill-treatment during his years incarcerated had brought on his premature death with Brotherhood leaders Amr Darrag and Yehia Hamed alleging "state-sponsored murder.”
African News Agency (ANA)