Deqa Hassan: British teenager's terror after losing leg in Egypt suicide bomb blast
A British teenager has lost a leg after being blown up in a suicide bomb terror attack in Egypt.
Friday, September 13, 2013
She was rushed to a nearby hospital where her left leg amputated below the knee while er friend suffered a broken shoulder.
Deqa Hassan, 16, was caught up in the assassination attempt on a Government official in Cairo which left at least 21 injured yesterday.
Raised in Brixton, south London, she had recently moved to Egypt with her family and described screaming for help as bullets whizzed past during the fire fight between police and the attackers.
It came as Egypt’s army-backed government announced its intention to dissolve the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group as a registered non-governmental organisation.
Deposed president Mohammed Morsi’s movement was ousted from power by the military in July but this was the first attack targeting such a high-ranking government official.
Deqa was rushed to the nearby Nasr Medical Insurance Hospital where her left leg amputated below the knee. Her friend suffered a broken shoulder.
Deqa said: “I was walking with my friend and at the end of the street we heard the sound of an explosion. I just hit the floor.
"People were screaming everywhere. It was very scary.
“Eventually two policemen walked up to us. We were screaming for help but they just walked away. It wasn’t human.
“The people nearby were yelling that they were injured and being shot at.”
The target of the attack is believed to be interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim who has overseen a violent crackdown on Brotherhood supporters.
The minister was driving in a convoy near his ministry when the bomb exploded. Two alleged attackers were reportedly killed by security forces.
No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt which is believed to have used a booby-trapped car.
Government sources suggested the remains of a person thought to be the suicide bomber were found nearby while the interior ministry said 10 policemen and 11 civilians had been wounded.
The explosion happened in Nasr City, a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood - but the group “strongly condemned” the attack today.
Since the turmoil began hundreds of Brotherhood supporters have been detained including much of its leadership.
Mr Ibrahim, whose car was left riddled with bullets after the gun battle, condemned the “heinous” attack.
He added: “Even if I am martyred, another minister of interior will come and continue the war on the evil terror until we secure the country.”
Deqa had reluctantly moved to Egypt weeks earlier after a spell visiting family in Dubai.
On August 14 she tweeted that she was “scared to go back” to Egypt because of the escalating violence.
Deqa, who is of Somali origin, and a child are reported to be among those most seriously injured. She now wants to return to Brixton.
Friends today posted messages of support on Twitter.
A woman calling herself Mrs Mahmoud Dahab said: “I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you in Cairo. My thoughts and prayers are with you Deqa x.”
Another friend posted: “I hope Allah eases your pain hun. You’re in my prayers.”
Deqa - herself a proud Muslim - has a slogan posted on her Twitter account which says: “The fact that the entire world is against one religion just shows how powerful that religion is.”
Deqa also tweeted a picture from the opening of the new British embassy in her home city of Mogadishu, Somalia, in April.
The picture showed William Hague being interviewed by local TV crews.
The Foreign Office is currently advising against “all but the most essential travel” to Egypt.
A spokesman said: “We are aware of reports that a British national was injured in the bomb attack and we are urgently looking into it and liaising with the authorities.”