News / Middle East

Egypt Braces for More Violence on Anniversary of 'Arab Spring' Uprising

Egypt Braces for More Violence on Anniversary of 'Arab Spring' Uprisingi
X
January 24, 2014 12:03 PM
A suicide car bomber killed at least four people at police headquarters in the Egyptian capital, the first of three bombings to rock the Cairo area early Friday.
Video footage from the scene in Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
Police and security forces in Egypt -- reeling from a string of deadly violence Friday -- are bracing for more trouble Saturday, as the country marks the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

At least 20 people died Friday across Egypt, including at least six police killed in Cairo. Authorities say the remaining deaths occurred in clashes among Islamist protesters, their secular opponents and police. Thousands from the same rival groups are expected to rally Saturday in Cairo, as well as in other major cities.

The 2011 Arab Spring uprising that swept through large parts of the Middle East raised hopes in Egypt for a stable democracy in the Arab world's largest nation.  Instead, the country has been mired in political turmoil, as Islamist backers of ousted president Mohamed Morsi battle to regain control of the country from the military-backed government that drove him from power.

At least four blasts Friday rattled Cairo, including a suicide car bombing near a security compound.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility, although Islamist militants have been blamed for a number of such attacks since the military ousted the Morsi government and arrested the former president last July.
 
A spokesman for interim President Adly Mansour condemned the violence. He said “such terrorist operations that seek to break the will of Egyptians” will only unify them.
 
Meanwhile, supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood clashed with security forces and civilians during protests in several cities on Friday. Officials said at least 10 people died in that unrest.

The violence came one day before the nation marks the third anniversary of the uprising against longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, which began on National Police Day. 

Following the explosions Friday, Egyptian media reported that authorities plan to block Tahrir Square through Sunday. Opposition groups, both secular activists and the Muslim Brotherhood, had said they were planning peaceful protests to mark the anniversary.

Divisions have deepened over the possibility that the next president could be another military strongman, de-facto leader General Abdel Fatah el Sissi. Security was on high alert even before the blasts.
 
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. There were unconfirmed reports that the jihadist group Ansar Beit al Maqdis, which derides the Brotherhood for lack of militancy, had sent a warning to officials before the blasts occurred..

  • Anti-government protesters and members of the Muslim Brotherhood flee after tear gas was fired by riot police during clashes on Ramsis Street, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Jan. 25, 2014.
  • An antiquities restoration worker moves broken glass at the Egyptian National Library and Archives, which was damaged by a car bomb attack targeting the nearby Cairo Security Directorate, Cairo, Jan. 26, 2014.
  • Police officers fire rubber bullets at anti-government protesters and members of the Muslim Brotherhood at Ramsis Street, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Jan. 25, 2014.
  • Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi close the road during clashes with riot police in Cairo, Jan. 25, 2014.
  • An aerial view taken from an Egyptian army helicopter shows supporters of Egypt's army and police gathering at Tahrir Square, Cairo, Jan. 25, 2014.
  • An injured police officer is assisted by people out of the damaged Cairo Security Directorate after a bomb attack in downtown Cairo, Jan. 24, 2014.
  • People look at a destroyed taxi cab after an explosion at the Egyptian police headquarters in downtown Cairo, Jan. 24, 2014.
  • A police officer stands guard after a car bomb attack at the Egyptian police headquarters in downtown Cairo, Jan. 24, 2014.
  • Police officers and people gather in front of the damaged Cairo Security Directorate after a bomb attack in downtown Cairo, Jan. 24, 2014.
  • A police officer holds his weapon as he stands guard in front of the damaged Cairo Security Directorate building after a bomb attack in downtown Cairo, Jan. 24, 2014.
  • Demonstrators shout anti-terrorism slogans in front the site of a blast at Egyptian police headquarters in Cairo, Jan. 24, 2014.

The Sinai-based militants have claimed responsibility for other attacks in recent months, including a failed assassination attempt on the nation's interior minister and the bombing of a police station in the Nile Delta that left 16 people dead.

Ansar Beit al Maqdis is among several jihadi groups who have escalated attacks against security and military targets since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi last year.
 
Public suspicion immediately fell on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, with crowds chanting death to the group outside police headquarters.  The building was heavily damaged by the blast, as was the Museum of Islamic Art across the street.
 
The Brotherhood has denounced previous such attacks, but the government blamed them for the Nile Delta bombing, and declared the group a terrorist organization.
 
Little hard evidence has been presented to link the Brotherhood and the jihadists.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
January 25, 2014 6:07 AM
Thank God for little mercies. The many attacks and terrorist revelations have vindicated Hosni Mubarak for the very long tenure in office. While he sat on the keg of gunpowder called Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptians did not understand what he was doing for them. In power they are dragons asking for citizens blood; out of power they are terrorists and man-eaters. From happenings right now in the country, it is obvious that handling the group is like trying to eat spaghetti with a spoon. It denounces violence, at the same time it preaches and breeds violence. Its offshoot - Hamas - has not allowed one free day without firing rockets into Israel and planning all sorts of violence. They are not happy until they see blood. Therefore celebrating the ousting of Hosni Mubarak is a mad idea; for it's a celebration of violence and absence of peace. Well, it may well be, because violence, Muslim Brotherhood and its religion mean one and the same thing - cacophony.

by: ali baba from: new york
January 24, 2014 5:59 PM
from the video, the young man who is talking, he is very upset and said in Arabic that the Gov. has to get tough .the country is in critical condition and need help from the west to cut all Financial support of terrorism .The euro pen country and us has to impose sanction against turkey and expel it from NATO . it is not of the best interest of west and US that a civil war erupted in Egypt because the terrorist are blooded people and they are continuing until the country is destroyed for the sake of Islam.

by: Nazarene from: USA
January 24, 2014 1:28 PM
now that Iran is cuddling the venomous degeneracy of the Muslim Brotherhood, we are going to see Egypt make Syria look like a Sunday picnic... and it all started from the Sinai... how ironic... here Egypt extorted the Sinai from Israel (with our help, i should add) and here the Sinai became ashes in the Egyptians mouths... and you thought that there is no God...

by: archlingua from: Guatemala City, Guatemala
January 24, 2014 9:23 AM
Egypt must stand firm against sectarian terrorism; Jihadists want a totalitarian regime in which all must conform to their extremist view of religious Sharia, instead of a moderate and modern democratic nation within which all can practice their chosen religious beliefs.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs