Egyptian Army Calls for Mass Rallies Against "Terrorism" after Explosion Leaves Soldier Dead
An overnight bombing in Egypt's northern region of Mansoura has left one person dead and 28 injured, escalating tensions between Morsi supporters and those who oppose the ousted president.
According to Egypt's Health Ministry, the timed explosive was hidden on the underside of a truck when it detonated near the country's security headquarters early Wednesday, killing one soldier and leaving another in a critical condition. The blast wounded 28 others.
Both sides of the political divide have denounced the Mansoura bombing. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood condemned the explosion in a statement posted on the group's website, stating that they would not be dragged into violence but would continue to stage peaceful protests, while the interim government called it "an act of terrorism."
"The Mansoura terrorist incident will not waver Egypt's resolve," Presidential Spokesman Ahmad al-Muslimani said. "Egypt has triumphed in the war against terrorism before and will win again today."
Violence also continued overnight in Cairo, when two unnamed assailants shot and killed two pro-Morsi protesters.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for interim President Adli Mansour warned that “Egypt will not be a second Syria, and those who push in that direction are traitors.”
Now, Military General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi — who instigated President Mohammed Morsi's ouster — made a statement early Wednesday calling on Egyptians to march Friday in support of the army's campaign against "terrorism" and "violence."
The Muslim Brotherhood condemned the proposed demonstrations as a "call to civil war."
The continued violence and detention of the country's former president has worried the international community. Even the Gulf state of Qatar — which had supported Morsi's removal — has called for the ex-leader to be released, saying that a political solution would be impossible until he was freed, echoing U.S. and E.U. officials' sentiments.
The White House announced Wednesday that the Pentagon will delay the planned sale of four fighter jets to Egypt, "in light of the current situation." (Still not calling it a coup.)