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Iran Press TV

ISIL claims attack on Italy's consulate in Egypt

Iran Press TV

Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:9PM

The Takfiri ISIL terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Italy's consulate in the Egyptian capital city of Cairo.

The ISIL members in Cairo "were able to detonate a parked booby-trapped vehicle laden with 450 kg (990 pounds) of explosives at the headquarters of the Italian consulate," the SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based organization that tracks terrorists' online activities, cited an ISIL tweet as saying on Saturday.

The extremists called on Muslims to "stay away from these security dens," describing them as "legitimate targets for strikes."

At least one person was killed and nine others injured in the powerful car bomb attack that took place earlier on Saturday, according to Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar.

The assault on the consulate, which is close to the prosecutor's office and the Supreme Court in Cairo, was so powerful that it destroyed the facade of the building of the diplomatic mission and damaged 50 buildings as well.

Italy's reaction

Following the blast, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in a message posted on Twitter, "Italy will not let itself be intimidated," announcing his country's intention "to respond firmly but also soberly... without alarmism."

No Italian was killed or hurt in the blast, he said.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also said Rome and Cairo would stand together "in the fight against terrorism and fanaticism."

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, for her part, condemned the attack and said, "We stand by the Egyptian authorities in their efforts to fight terrorism and bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice."

Egypt crisis

Security has worsened in Egypt, particularly in the volatile Sinai Peninsula, since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted the country's first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi two years ago.

Militants from the Velayat Sinai terror group, previously known as the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks in Sinai. Last November, the group pledged allegiance to the ISIL.

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