On Saturday, a car bomb exploded in front of the Italian consulate in Cairo killing one person and injuring another dozen. On Sunday, the militant group Islamic State claimed they were behind the bombing, which suggests the militants have opened another front in which to attack foreigners in Egypt.
The group posted on a website that through the blessing of God soldiers from Islamic State detonated a car bomb that carried more than 450 kilograms of explosives in front of the Italian consulate.
The post added that it recommended that Muslims not get near those security dens, as they are a legitimate target for strikes by the mujahideen.
Until this point, supports in Egypt of the Islamic State had not targeted Westerners focusing instead on Egypt’s security forces.
A spokesperson for the health ministry said one Egyptian who was a civilian had been killed and 12 others wounded. In a separate communiqué the MENA new agency, which is state run, said two of the wounded were police officers.
The consulate was heavily damaged in the blast and other buildings in the downtown area shook from the force of the explosion.
Paolo Gentiloni the Foreign Minister of Italy said none of the injured were Italian citizens and that Italy would not be intimidated.
Ibrahim Mehled the Prime Minister of Egypt said his country was at war and he urged the rest of the world to unite against this terrorist group.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, a former chief of the army said militancy posed a threat to the country, other regional Arab states as well as to the West.
The Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State based in the Sinai Peninsula remains resilient despite being steadily pressured from fighter planes, helicopters and troops on the ground.
Saturday’s consulate attack increases the stakes in the fight between the government and the militants. The government has just begun to rebuild the economy since the original Arab Spring uprising in 2011.
It also has highlighted the reach the IS has after seizing large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq in the past two years.