Cairo explosion caused by terrorist car bomb -Interior Ministry
Cairo explosion caused by terrorist car bomb -Interior Ministry: Sunday’s deadly explosion outside the National Cancer Institute in Downtown Cairo has been designated a terrorist-related event by the Interior Ministry. The incident occurred after a car full of explosives collided with three vehicles outside the hospital, the ministry said. The Health Ministry originally treated the event as an accident before investigators found evidence of explosives in the wreckage. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Death toll rises: Twenty people have now been pronounced dead and 47 are injured, making the incident the deadliest terrorist-related event in Cairo in more than two years.
Fingers are pointing at Hasm: The Interior Ministry accused Islamic militant group Hasm of transporting the explosives in a stolen car for use in a planned terrorist attack. The statement did not say what the group was intending to target. Hasm has been behind a number of attacks and assassination attempts in Cairo since it formed in 2016. The group denied the allegations.
El Sisi sends condolences, condemns “brutal terrorism”: “I extend my deepest condolences to the Egyptian people and the families of the martyrs killed in the cowardly terrorist incident in the vicinity of the Qasr El Aini area,” President Abdel Fattah El Sisi wrote on Twitter on Monday morning. “I assure you that the Egyptian state is determined to confront the brutal terrorism and eradicate it from its roots.”
Health Ministry to repair the hospital: The Health Ministry said in a statement that it will cover the costs of restoring the hospital. The building was heavily damaged by the explosion, and 78 patients have been transferred to other hospitals for treatment, the BBC reported ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed as saying. UAE Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed has donated EGP 50 mn towards repairing the building as part of a campaign organized by TV host Amr Adib that has so far collected EGP 72 mn in donations (watch, runtime: 5:20).
Gov’t compensation: The Social Solidarity Ministry is disbursing EGP 100k in compensation to the families of victims and the same amount to fully paralysed individuals and EGP 50k to whoever requires costly medical care, it said in a statement. The ministry will also disburse EGP 5k to wounded individuals who’ve had to stay at the hospital for 72 hours.
International response: The US embassy condemned the “tragic terrorist killing” and extended condolences to the victims in a statement, while an EU spokesman said that the bloc “stands side-by-side with Egypt in its efforts to defeat terrorism.” Regionally, Jordan’s King Abdullah and the Saudi Foreign Ministry have expressed solidarity with Egypt.
The story is featuring heavily in the foreign press this morning: Reuters | Bloomberg | WSJ | AP | BBC | NYT | VOA.