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Sinai-based group say bombed Egypt police station

Source: Reuters - Wed, 25 Dec 2013 01:21 PM
Author: Reuters
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(Adds quote from statement, background)

CAIRO, Dec 25 (Reuters) - Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis said on Wednesday it had carried out a bomb attack on an Egyptian police compound in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura which killed 16 people and wounded about 140.

The army-backed government vowed on Tuesday to fight "black terrorism", saying the Dec. 24 attack would not upset a political transition plan whose next step is a January referendum on a new constitution.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis said Egypt's rulers were fighting Islamic legitimacy and spilled the blood of oppressed Muslims. It described the police compound as a "nest of apostasy and tyranny".

"We are continuing, God allowing, to fight them," the group said in the statement posted on an Islamist website.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, whose name means "Supporters of Jerusalem", previously claimed responsibility for a failed assassination attack on the interior minister in Cairo in September.

Militant attacks on security forces in Sinai have become commonplace since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July following mass protests against him, but the Mansoura attack raised fears the violence is escalating. (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla, Yusri Mohamed and Tom Perry; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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