Middle East

Egyptian papers condemn 'heinous' Cairo bombings

A prayer carpet hangs on a piece of rubble at the site of a blast at the Egyptian police headquarters in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Image copyright AP
Image caption The attacks cast a shadow over the anniversary of the 2011 uprising

A series of blasts in Cairo and Giza on Friday dominate the front pages of the main Egyptian dailies, overshadowing the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising which ended in the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

Newspapers condemn what they describe as "heinous" and "cowardly" attacks and call for "decisive action" in the face of "terrorism".

'Friday of blood and challenge'

"Terrorism hits the heart of the capital," reads a large black-font headline in the official daily Al-Jumhuriyah.

"Friday of blood and challenge," says a headline in Al-Wafd, the mouthpiece of the liberal New Wafd Party, which is one of several papers that publish photos showing the hole caused by the blast that hit Cairo's police HQ. "Desperate and vile bombings target security installations to disrupt celebrations marking the revolution," the daily says.

"Terrorism hits revolution on its anniversary," reads the headline in privately-owned daily Al-Misri al-Yawm, which also prints photos of the scene of carnage at the police HQ in Cairo.

"The presidency pledges retribution and the army promises to root out terrorism," reads a headline in state-run Al-Ahram.

Another private daily, Al-Shuruq, carries a headline: "War on the state and revolution; terrorist bombings strike the capital."

'Cowardly attacks'

Hamdi Handal remarks in Al-Jumhuriyah that "Egyptians will not be intimidated by black terrorism".

"Cowardly attacks reveal how mean perpetrators are," he says, urging the Interior Ministry to be "more vigilant and take stronger security measures".

Al-Ahram's editorial adopts a similar tone, saying that "these heinous terrorist acts will never mange to intimidate Egyptians".

It adds that "terrorists are stupid and deluded when they think the attacking police stations and security headquarters will help achieve their goal".

'Force is solution'

Writing in Al-Wafd, in an article headlined "Force is the solution", Wajdi Zayn al-Din says the latest bombings require "decisive action".

"The public have mandated the army and police to wage a war on the terrorist group" - a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood - "hence there is no room for leniency in dealing with it".

This view is echoed by Hasan al-Mistikawi in Al-Shuruq, who writes that "terrorism will never deter the country from standing up to it". He criticizes the Obama administration and Egyptian human rights activists who he argues criticise the police when they "stand up to terrorists or those who kill people", but "remain tight-lipped when it comes to terrorist attacks".

'Doomed to failure'

But writing in the same paper, Fahmi Huwaydi adopts a different view, warning against making "hasty accusations" against the Brotherhood because this might help "perpetrators get away with what they did".

He adds that the security solution alone "is doomed to failure" because "the problem of terrorism has social and political dimensions".

He calls on the Brotherhood to reconsider the approach of street protests because "it does more harm than good".

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