News / Middle East

Egyptian Police Crack Down on Brotherhood Supporters; One Killed

Egyptian security officials inspect the wreckage of a bus that was damaged by an explosion in Cairo, Dec. 26, 2013.
Egyptian security officials inspect the wreckage of a bus that was damaged by an explosion in Cairo, Dec. 26, 2013.
Reuters
Egypt escalated its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday, detaining at least 16 of the group's supporters on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization the day after it was declared one by the government.

One person was killed on Thursday when student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with residents of a Cairo district where they were protesting, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
 
The activists were held in the Nile Delta province of Sharkiya on suspicion of “promoting the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood group, distributing its leaflets, and inciting violence against the army and police,” the state news agency said.
 
Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion has hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion has hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
x
Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion has hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion has hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
The government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group on Wednesday in response to a suicide attack a day earlier that killed 16 in the Nile Delta, accusing the group of carrying out the bombing. The Brotherhood condemned the attack.

The government did not provide evidence to back up the charge that the Brotherhood had staged the Nile Delta attack in Mansoura, north of Cairo, which was claimed by the Sinai-based radical Islamist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. 

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has derides the Brotherhood for its lack of militancy, has taken responsibility for several other major bombings, including a failed attempt to kill the interior minister in September.
 
​Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif told state TV on Thursday that anyone taking part in Brotherhood protests would be jailed for five years. “The sentence could be death for those who lead this organization,” he added.
 
Earlier in the day a bomb explosion in Cairo wounded five people, and Latif said a second similar home-made device was found nearby and dismantled.
 
The Brotherhood's Islamist allies responded defiantly to the cabinet decision announced late on Wednesday, vowing to continue the protests it has staged against the army since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi.
 
“The putchists are a terrorist organization. The Brotherhood are peaceful patriots,” they said in a statement.
 
Driven underground
 
Wednesday's move marked an escalation in the government's campaign to suppress the Islamist movement that propelled Morsi to the presidency 18 months ago but has been driven underground since the army toppled him in July after big protests against him.
 
In the weeks after Morsi's removal, the security forces killed hundreds of his supporters while dispersing their protest camps, and arrested thousands more including most of the Brotherhood's top leadership.
 
Though the Brotherhood has been outlawed for most of its existence, this is the first time it has been formally listed as a terrorist organization.
 
FILE - A Nov. 2013 image made from video provided by Egypt's Interior Ministry shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi (R), speaking from the defendant's cage during a trial hearing in Cairo, Egypt.FILE - A Nov. 2013 image made from video provided by Egypt's Interior Ministry shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi (R), speaking from the defendant's cage during a trial hearing in Cairo, Egypt.
x
FILE - A Nov. 2013 image made from video provided by Egypt's Interior Ministry shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi (R), speaking from the defendant's cage during a trial hearing in Cairo, Egypt.
FILE - A Nov. 2013 image made from video provided by Egypt's Interior Ministry shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi (R), speaking from the defendant's cage during a trial hearing in Cairo, Egypt.
State prosecutors last week ordered Morsi and others to stand trial on charges including terrorism for which they could be executed. A Brotherhood activist, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of arrest, said the new decision seemed aimed at deterring further protests against the government.
 
The cabinet said terrorism charges could be applied to anyone who finances or promotes the group “verbally and in writing”. Publication of the Brotherhood's newspaper, Freedom and Justice, was halted in response to the decision.
 
“We will continue with the protests. Peaceful action is the hope,” said the activist from Alexandria.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood

  • Egypt's largest and oldest Islamist organization
  • Was banned under Hosni Mubarak
  • The Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was elected president in 2012
  • The Brotherhood won the most seats in 2012 parliamentary elections
  • Brotherhood supporters have staged massive protests since Morsi's ouster
  • Egypt outlawed the group again in September 2013
  • Egypt's military-installed government declared it a terrorist organization in December 2013
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, the pro-Morsi coalition, called for a “week of anger” and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Brotherhood, called for protests on Friday after the cabinet's move.
 
​The public prosecutor's office, which is investigating the Mansoura bombing, said there would be no comment until its investigation was complete.
 
Bombings and shootings targeting the security forces have become commonplace, with around 350 soldiers and policemen killed. The state has declared itself in “a war on terror”.
 
Most of the attacks have been in the Sinai Peninsula, though the Mansoura attack suggested the violence is spreading to the more heavily populated areas of the Nile Valley and Delta.
 
The government has said violence will not derail its political transition plan. The next step is a mid-January referendum on a new constitution.
  • Activists shout anti-terrorism slogans as they hold posters with Arabic slogans that read, "Egypt is entrusted to us. The army and people are one hand," during a rally in Cairo, Dec. 26, 2013.
  • An activist holds a sign with an anti-terrorism picture and Arabic that reads "terrorists brotherhood" during an anti-terrorism demonstration in Cairo, Dec. 26, 2013.
  • Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
  • Bus driver Adel Abd El Fatah sits inside a damaged bus after a bomb blast near the Al-Azhar University campus in Cairo's Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
  • Egyptians carry the coffin of a victim killed in an explosion at a police headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, Egypt, Dec. 24, 2013.
  • An Egyptian man makes his way through rubble at the scene of an explosion at a police headquarters building in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, Egypt, Dec. 24, 2013.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid