Hagel calls Egyptian counterpart to discuss recent terrorist events

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called Egyptian Minister of Defense General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Sunday to discuss the recent terrorist attacks in Egypt, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, discussed the call in a press statement issued on Sunday. Kirby said Hagel offered the DoD's assistance in investigating recent attacks in Mansoura, Nasr City and the Sharqiya province.

"Secretary Hagel expressed his condolences for the loss of life and injuries from the bombings in Mansoura, Nasr City, and Sharqiya province," Kirby said. "The secretary condemned the attacks and offered the assistance of the Department of Defense to help the Egyptian government investigate the attacks."

According to the State Department, the first attack occurred in September and targeted Egypt's Minister of Interior in Nasr City. Another attack occurred on December 24 and targeted the Dakaliya security directorate in Mansoura.

The most recent attack occurred on Sunday when a bomb exploded outside a military intelligence building in the Sharqiya province, Associated Press reports.

During the call, Hagel and Al-Sisi discussed the balance between security and freedom and Hagel noted the role of political inclusiveness in a democracy. Hagel expressed concerns about the current political climate in advance of a constitutional referendum, including the enforcement of a restrictive law against demonstrations.

Kirby said that Hagel and Al-Sisi also discussed the desires of the Egyptian people for economic opportunities, stability and a civilian-led democracy.

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