Huge car bomb attack on Egypt police HQ kills 14

Huge car bomb attack on Egypt police HQ kills 14
An injured man recuperates in hospital after an explosion at a security building in Egypt's Nile Delta city of Mansoura in Dakahlyia province, December 24, 2013.

MANSOURA, Egypt - A powerful car bomb tore through an Egyptian police headquarters Tuesday, killing at least 14 people, in one of the worst attacks since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The military-installed government said the bombing in Mansoura city, north of Cairo, was aimed at derailing Egypt's democratic transition, and immediately suggested Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood was behind it.

But the Islamist movement, which says it renounced violence decades ago, condemned the devastating bomb attack whose impact was felt as far as 20 kilometres (12 miles) away.

The explosion, which peeled off part of the building's facade, was the deadliest since Morsi's ouster in July outside the Sinai Peninsula, where militants have killed more than 100 policemen and soldiers.

Hours after the bombing, prime minister Hazem Beblawi labelled the Brotherhood a "terrorist" group, though he did not blame the organisation for the blast.

The explosion ripped through the multi-storey police headquarters shortly after 1:00 am, killing at least 14 people and wounding more than 100, officials said.

"The majority of the casualties are from the police," said Omar al-Shawatsi, the governor of Daqahleya, of which Mansoura is the capital.

Daqahleya security chief Sami El-Mihi was wounded and two of his aides were killed, security officials said.

Casualties were rushed to a nearby hospital, where one witness told AFP the blast had sent him flying through the air.

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