CAIRO: Following the huge blast that hit the Italian Consulate in downtown Cairo Saturday morning, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry assured his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni that Egypt is able to “uproot terrorism.”
A policeman was killed and nine civilians were injured in a car bomb blast targeted the Italian consulate. Four children, aged between seven and 13, were among the injured.
“Egypt will not hesitate to continue and intensify its efforts with world countries, including Italy, to fight and uproot terrorism […] Egypt determines to thwart plots targeting stability in the country and to eliminate all terrorist organizations,” Shoukry said in a phone call with Gentiloni.
Gentiloni condemned the attack and offered his condolences for the victims’ relatives. He also voiced his country’s support to Egypt against terrorism, said Egypt’s Foreign Miinstry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty in a statement.
No Italian citizens among the victims, Gentiloni on his Twitter account, adding that his country was not “intimidated.”
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar inspected the site.
Although no group claimed responsibility for the explosion, dozens of people gathered at the site of the explosion, calling for “the death of Muslim brotherhood members and former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.”
Security officials said the engine of the car, used in the blast, was found on the 6 October Bridge, few meters away from the consulate headquarters. The bomb was placed outside the Italian Consulate and the blast heavily damaged its façade and entrance on Al-Galaa Street.
A team of prosecutors rushed to the scene and will review the materials of the consulate’s surveillance cameras to see if the perpetrators appeared during the blast.
Egypt has witnessed brutal attacks since June 29 when the late Attorney-General Hesham Barakat was assassinated while three days later, a series of terrorist attacks targeted 15 military and police checkpoints in North Sinai, killing 17 military personnel.