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Egypt calls for international cooperation in fight against terrorism - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riot police officers take positions in front of Cairo University, as students who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed President Mohamed Mursi, plan a protest against former Defence Minister Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after Sisi announced that he will run for presidential elections, March 30, 2014.  (Reuters.Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Riot police officers take positions in front of Cairo University on March 30, 2014 as pro-Brotherhood students plan a protest against former Defense Minister Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi after he announced he will run for presidential elections. (Reuters.Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egypt called on the international community to cooperate in its fight against terrorism, one day after a series of explosions outside Cairo University killed two people, including a police brigadier-general.

Three bombs exploded outside Cairo University on Wednesday while a fourth bomb was defused. The explosions killed two people and injured at least 16 others. A group calling itself Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) claimed responsibility for the attacks.

High-level government meetings were held following Wednesday’s violence with government sources indicating that Cairo could seek to pass a new anti-terror law as early as Thursday.

A senior security committee including the prime minister and defense and interior ministers met in the aftermath of the unprecedented attack in the Egyptian capital and said in a statement it would seek to pass new anti-terror legislation after a new bill is presented to the cabinet for approval.

“[The international community] must take clear a stance, through full cooperation, to drain the sources of terrorism,” an Egyptian presidency statement issued on Thursday said.

“These dark forces are not targeting the guardians of the nation—the army and the police—they are targeting Cairo University and its students.”

Cairo’s call for international cooperation comes after Britain announced it would be investigating the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the UK. Egypt formally designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December 2013, accusing the group of being responsible for attacks on state infrastructure and security forces. The Brotherhood has denied any responsibility for these attacks.

Speaking following the Cairo University bombings, Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said: “This cowardly action will not discourage the state from its commitment to taking all measures to prevent terrorism from tampering with national security and safety.”

The attack took place outside Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering and there are fears that the university could be targeted again in the future. However, Cairo University Dean Gaber Nasser stressed that the university would not close its doors or bow to terrorism. He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Studies are ongoing and the university has not been evacuated, and we are committed to carrying on until the end of the academic year.”

He said that terrorism would not stop Cairo University students from getting an education. “The security forces searched the university grounds after the explosions and did not find any more explosive devices.”

An Egyptian security source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, said that Cairo University was not the main target of Wednesday’s attack. “The bombs targeted police cars parked outside the Faculty of Engineering,” the source said.

Cairo confirmed that Police Brig. Gen. Tarek Al Mergawi was killed in the attack, with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab describing him as a “martyr of the nation” on Thursday.