News / Middle East

    49 Protesters Killed on Anniversary of Egypt Uprising

    • Supporters of Egypt's army and police gather at Tahrir square in Cairo, on the third anniversary of Egypt's uprising, Jan. 25, 2014.
    • Pro-government crowds gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Jan. 25, 2014, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Pro-government crowds gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Pro-government crowds gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Many in the crowd hold pictures of General Abdel Fateh el Sissi, widely expected to run in upcoming presidential elections, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Participant hold picture of General Abdel Fateh el Sissi, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Participants hold flags, pictures of General Abdel Fateh el Sissi, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Participants hold flag, picture of General Abdel Fateh el Sissi, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Participants hold flag, picture of General Abdel Fateh el Sissi, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Some youth donned masks of General Sissi, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Security was especially tight, after a series of bombings ripped through the capital Friday, (Hamada Elrasam for VOA).
    • Security is heavy in and around Tahrir square as Egypt is still tense on the 3rd anniversary of the 2011 revolution that forced long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak to step down, Jan. 25, 2014 (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA)..
    • Pro-government crowds gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square, (Hamada Elrasam/VOA).
    • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi is detained by police during clashes with security forces in downtown Cairo, Egypt.
    • Egyptian police arrest a Muslim Brotherhood supporter (C-R) following a demonstration in the Nasr City district of Cairo.
    • Egyptian police arrest a Muslim Brotherhood supporter (C) following a demonstration in the Nasr City district of Cairo.
    Government-led events on Cairo's Tahrir Square
    Edward Yeranian
    Egypt's interim president announces Sunday that the country will have presidential elections before parliamentary polls.

    "I have taken my decision to amend the roadmap by which we will hold presidential elections first followed by parliamentary elections," said Adly Mansour. "Today, I will request the Higher Presidential Elections Committee to open the floor for the candidates in the presidential race and to do so in accordance with clause 230 in the amended constitution.''

    Speculation mounts that army chief General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi, who ousted country's first freely-elected civilian president, will run for the top office.

    Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say clashes with anti-government protesters have left at least 49 people dead as government supporters marked the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

    Authorities said Sunday the deaths occurred over a span of 24 hours as anti-government activists fought security forces and government loyalists.

    They say most of those killed were in Cairo, where thousands of people had gathered Saturday in a show of support for the current government. Nearly 250 people were said to have been wounded in clashes across Egypt. More than 1,000 protesters were reported to have been arrested.
     
    Hundreds of anti-military protesters, both supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and secular activists opposed to both camps, gathered on the third anniversary of the country's 2011 uprising before security forces dispersed them.Hundreds of anti-military protesters, both supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and secular activists opposed to both camps, gathered on the third anniversary of the country's 2011 uprising before security forces dispersed them.
    x
    Hundreds of anti-military protesters, both supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and secular activists opposed to both camps, gathered on the third anniversary of the country's 2011 uprising before security forces dispersed them.
    Hundreds of anti-military protesters, both supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and secular activists opposed to both camps, gathered on the third anniversary of the country's 2011 uprising before security forces dispersed them.
    ​Government officials say fatalities occurred at anti-government protests that coincided with government sanctioned celebrations that were staged to show support for the current military-installed leadership. 
     
    Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, thousands of pro-government supporters flooded Tahrir Square, chanting and waving flags and posters as they pledged support for el-Sissi, Egypt's current defense minister and de facto leader who toppled Egypt's first democratically-elected civilain President Mohamed Morsi.
     
    Egypt's interim government has hinted several times in recent weeks that presidential elections will take place later this year before parliamentary elections.
     
    Former parliamentarian Mustafa Bakri, a fervent Sissi supporter who addressed the enthusiastic crowd of ululating women and young men beating drums, insisted that the "people, the police and the army were now united in victory." He went on to say that "traitors and criminals" were "plotting to destroy the country," and that the "U.S. wants turmoil" in Egypt and the Arab world.
     
    Government supporters repelled several attempts by Morsi supporters to march into the square as helicopters flew overhead, dropping small Egyptian flags into the crowd. 
    A protester wounded in clashes with security forces is evacuated from the site in the Mohandiseen district of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.A protester wounded in clashes with security forces is evacuated from the site in the Mohandiseen district of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.
    x
    A protester wounded in clashes with security forces is evacuated from the site in the Mohandiseen district of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.
    A protester wounded in clashes with security forces is evacuated from the site in the Mohandiseen district of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.
    Egyptian security forces fired tear gas at small clusters of unruly Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo's Mohandiseen district, where Morsi supporters chanted slogans against the government and el-Sissi.
     
    Sky News Arabia reports that more than 400 Morsi supporters were arrested. Similar unrest took place in other parts of the country.
     
    Bombings
     
    As Saturday's ceremony got under way, a car bomb exploded near a security facility in the city of Suez. The force of the blast burst a water main, inundating a main street near security headquarters in the city. Al Arabiya TV reported that 18 people were wounded in the blast, which was some distance away from the building.
     
    Earlier, a bomb exploded near a Cairo police academy. Both attacks come a day after at least 20 protesters and six policemen were killed in a series of explosions that rocked Cairo. A Sinai-based militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

    Egyptian state television also reported that an army helicopter crashed in the Sinai, killing five soldiers on board. It was not immediately clear why chopper crashed. For months the army has been battling Islamist militants in the northern Sinai, where dozens of soldiers and police have been killed in the fighting and in attacks on government installations.
     
    Ongoing turmoil
     
    Egypt has been mired in political turmoil since July 3, when army el-Sissi ousted Morsi, the country's first freely-elected civilian president.
     
    Last year, the military-backed government of secularists and liberals that replaced Morsi also designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group following a bombing of security offices in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura that killed 15 people. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibilty for Mansoura bombing.
     
    More than 1,400 of Morsi supporters have been killed in the security crackdown following his removal from power. The security crackdown has been extended to secular-minded liberals, including ones who played a key role in the 2011 uprising. Human rights groups have accused the Egyptian authorities of quashing dissent and using excessive force, calling the state violence since Morsi's ouster unprecedented.
     
    Egypt's most prominent rights groups criticized the government for using the "purported aim of 'countering terrorism' as justification to commit arbitrary arrests and restrict freedoms."

    Story continues below photo gallery
    • 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.

    Although the Brotherhood has been nearly crushed by the state, the group has a history of rebounding.

    "Their soft, non-ideological support from Egyptian society has collapsed but their most energized core remains more zealous than ever," said Michael Hanna of the Century Foundation in New York. "The Brotherhood and its supporters are not something that can be swept aside easily they have a substantial and resilient core."
     
    Egyptian diplomats kidnapped
     
    Separately, Libya's justice minister, Salah Mirghani, has apologized for the kidnapping of five Egyptian diplomats in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, by an Islamic militia. A militant from the group holding the diplomats has demanded that the Egyptian government release one of its members whom he claimed was "studying in the port city of Alexandria." Other reports said the man was a Libyan militia leader who had traveled to Alexandria to meet with local Islamic militants.

    Some information for this report comes from Reuters and AP.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Wasif Hatem from: Egypt
    January 26, 2014 12:38 PM
    the whole World should applaud Egypt for rooting out this malignancy - Muslim BrotherHOOD - which is an Arab version of the Nazi party... The World would have been spared so much misery if Germany back then would have confronted the same malignancy. The Muslim Brotherhood is Al Qaeda... as president Hussein knows only too well...

    by: lorissa from: canada
    January 26, 2014 8:43 AM
    This is intense. Are people still being hurt over this now?

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    January 25, 2014 9:59 PM
    One should not play around talking about Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni/Al Qaeda terrorism, Iran and bla ..bla..bla.
    Military supremo Abdel Fatah el Sissi engaged a military take-over against legitimate democratically elected head of state. Immediately el Sissi portrayed himself as Messiah in a nation- wide radio broadcast. But now apparently is clear he came to power to help himself not to safe Egypt from Muslim fanatics; he remodelled the constitution which embedded with Islamic law, never tried to outlaw religious law from state affairs. He made sure that under the new constitution he could run for presidential election. Just like egomaniacs, he expects to be the sole presidential candidate for the coming elections.
    Poor Egyptians will continue having crisis after crisis.
    In Response

    by: Sirajuddin from: SaudiArabia
    January 26, 2014 11:25 AM
    @ Mansoor, just to blame Iranian or any other is not the solution. You just want to deflect the thought process from main issue that problem lies within the country itself. Egyptian Army has launched an attack against its own free society. It's like auto-immune disease where there is no cure. Unluckily Army is fed by external resources and it is no more dependent on its own mother soil which raised her to this climax. Egypt will be once more destroyed to a level level for greater than an ordinary war with israel or any other country. Examples would me Algeria, Syria and Lebnon not iran.
    In Response

    by: ali baba from: new york
    January 26, 2014 6:33 AM
    Muslim brotherhood is a terrorist organization . general sisi is right when he ousted them, They are all the source of evil. Egypt will be better place without these fanatic . They want to destroy the country by violent .
    In Response

    by: Mansur from: Egypt
    January 25, 2014 11:03 PM
    hey you write like an Iranian basiji... look at your Iranian regime web sites... they have done what they have promised to do... undermine Egyptian security and sow destruction and blood shed all over Egypt just like they have done in Lebanon and now they are doing in Syria - Iran is the source of evil in the ME. look at your own IRGC websites - you are recruiting suicide murderers from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood - you are a source of corruption and disease - filthy Iranian!!!

    by: MikeBarnett from: USA
    January 25, 2014 6:23 PM
    The Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni organization, used peaceful methods to acquire and expand power in Egypt, but President Morsi failed to address basic economic issues for Egyptians. The resulting protests caused military intervention, and that has caused radical elements, such as al Qaeda, another Sunni group, to use violence against the military regime.

    Another key element is that Ayman al Zawahiri has stopped bin Laden's policy of blowing up shoes and underwear on airliners and has moved al Qaeda within striking position of the oil and gas infrastructure of north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East. Egypt holds the Suez Canal through which oil and gas flows to the EU and US via tankers. Attacks in this area raise the terror premium, increase prices for western bound oil and gas, increase revenues for Arab oil and gas states, and raise donations to insurgent groups, including al Qaeda, from Arab oil and gas states. Western economies and militaries that depend on oil and gas suffer damages, and the West pays for both sides in the conflict. It is a multiple victory for al Qaeda.

    by: Paul from: Egypt/UK
    January 25, 2014 3:44 PM
    Iranian support of the Muslim Brotherhood is planed to undermine and sow chaos and destruction in Egypt, on the same principle of Hizbullah in Lebanon, and Syria. Iran must be confronted... regime change must be the measure of the American policy. Shia Iran is the mirror image of Sunni Al Qaeda in Afghanistan - its the same Islamic malignancy... with onlt one difference... Iran is about to have a nuclear bomb... you think you are safe... think again... listen to their "religious" sermons - they will welcome death if they can only hurt you... its a level of depravity the "West" is ill equipped to comprehend...

    by: archlingua from: Guatemala City, Guatemala
    January 25, 2014 3:39 PM
    Clearly, there is no “middle ground” or possible “compromise” between normal people and extremists. Extremists, be they religious like Jihadists, or ideological like Communists, want every person in a given society—and contentiously, in the whole world—to live under tyrannies in which they, and only they, will rule and profit from the exercise of power. Leonid Brezhnev, dictator of the defunct U.S.S.R., accumulated 324 personal cars; the Cuban Castros and Iran’s ayatollahs and imams are among the richest on earth. In the case of religious extremists, they claim the right to rule and profit based on divine revelation, and in the case of extreme ideologues they have a “historicist” preconception of how humanity must function. Within their illuminated beliefs, the conglomerate of everyday, normal individuals are “the masses,” unable and unworthy to guide our lives, so we must abrogate our freedoms in their favor. Conversely, what the normal people want are societies that respect individuals, and so all human beings—including even those of that have rigid, excessive beliefs, as long as they do not force or hurt others—can lead the lives that they individually and collectively choose, as separate groups that also respect others. This is the only true middle ground, the only compromise possible. Posing human existence the way extremists do, there will always be violent, unending conflict between normal people and themselves, they affirm, until when they, and only they, win.
    Fear not. Extremists are always only elitist minorities. Unless they learn to compromise, and they will not but through the hard way, with their unconditional surrender—like the Nazis in WW2—the rest of normal humans will necessarily reach the conclusion that their extermination is the only possible existential solution. It is them or us. Meanwhile, we normal persons are admittedly under the moral obligation to struggle in convincing extremists of the error of their ways, while not giving in to the threats they pose.
    In Response

    by: albert from: us
    January 26, 2014 11:33 AM
    Garbage in - garbage out.. This long narrative don't make any sense. Simply outdated!

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