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Abbas offers condolences to Egypt, Turkey in wake of deadly attacks

Dec. 11, 2016 5:22 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 12, 2016 10:06 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas offered condolences to his counterparts in Egypt and Turkey on Sunday, after deadly blasts in Cairo and Istanbul killed 38 and 25 people respectively within 24 hours of one another.

In a telephone call to Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, Abbas offered his condolences for the 25 victims of the Sunday morning explosion at Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbasiya neighborhood of Cairo.

It was reported to be one of the deadliest attacks against the country’s Christian minority in recent memory.

Abbas expressed his total rejection of the “heinous” attack in which dozens others were injured, stressing that the incident contradicted the values of Islam and all humanitarian laws.

Separately, the Palestinian president also offered his condolences on Sunday to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for the 38 killed and more than 160 injured in a twin bombing attack in the center of the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday night.

The blasts occurred outside of a football stadium in the Besiktas neighborhood of the city two hours after a football match, and was believed to have targeted Turkish police officers, who made up the majority of the casualties.

Abbas conveyed his sorrow and sympathy to the families of the victims, and wishes a speedy recovery for the injured. He expressed his utter condemnation of all kinds of terror, offering his full support to the people of Turkey, Wafa reported.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also released a statement condemning the attack in Turkey, with the caveat that “the fight against terrorism must be mutual. It must be mutual in condemnation and in countermeasures, and this is what the State of Israel expects from all countries it is in contact with, including Turkey.”

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