Loyalists of ousted President Mohamed Mursi said Egyptian authorities were trying to discredit them by staging violent attacks, and demanded an investigation into an overnight bombing that wounded 25 people.
The call by the Anti-Coup Pro-Democracy Alliance was the latest salvo in the faceoff between Mursi’s supporters and the transitional government the military installed after deposing the Islamist leader on July 3. The explosion targeted a security headquarters in Mansoura, northeast of Cairo.
Violence has flared daily between the sides in the three weeks since Mursi was removed, dimming hopes of reconciliation and raising fears the fighting will escalate and deepen the polarization that has grown since Mursi’s election last year.
The pro-Mursi group condemned the overnight bombing, while warning of “an apparent plan by security and intelligence agencies to plot violent attacks to terrorize citizens” and link them to the “peaceful protesters who announced more than once that their power lies in their peacefulness.”
Mursi’s supporters have accused the government of interim President Adly Mansour of cracking down on the former leader’s Islamist allies since his overthrow, with arrests, travel bans and asset freezes. The Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood that fielded him for office, have been holding open-ended protests demanding he be restored to power.
Ahmed El-Meslemani, the presidential spokesman, said in a statement responding to the blast that “Egypt has triumphed before in the war against terror and will again.”
In another overnight attack, unidentified assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a police station in the city of El-Arish in the northern Sinai peninsula, wounding one officer, the local security directorate said in an e-mailed statement.
The attack was the latest in a string of assaults on security forces in the Sinai in recent weeks. The military has stepped up a crackdown on jihadists and others there in a bid to restore order to the region, which has become increasingly lawless since longtime leader Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011.
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