US condemns police bombing in Egypt

The United States on Tuesday condemned a car bombing in Egypt that left more than a dozen people dead.

The attack took place overnight at a police compound in Mansoura, a city north of Cairo in the Nile Delta.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today's terrorist attack on the Dakaliya security directorate in Mansoura,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

According to The New York Times, at least 15 people died, including eight police officers. The city of Mansoura’s director of security was among those injured in the attack, the second on that police headquarters since July.

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The attack was the latest strike in a campaign by radical Islamists who have been targeting security forces ahead of a constitutional referendum next month. The spate of violence has come in protest of the military ouster earlier this year of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi’s party, the Muslim Brotherhood, publicly condemned the bombing, according to AFP.

Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said the blast was intended to intimidate voters before the referendum.

“This is an attempt to terrorize people because of the referendum. There is a security plan, and this will not affect the referendum," he told the news service.

Psaki said that the U.S. extended its “deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and we hope for the quick recovery of the injured.”

“The United States stands firmly with the Egyptian people as they work to put their country on the path towards democracy, stability, and economic prosperity, in an atmosphere free from violence,” she said.