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

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    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.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora