News / Africa

Amid Protests, Egypt Pursues Crackdown in Sinai

Protesters hold placards with the symbol of Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where supporters of Egypt's ousted President Morsi held a sit-in that was violently dispersed, Cairo, Sept. 13, 2013.
Protesters hold placards with the symbol of Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where supporters of Egypt's ousted President Morsi held a sit-in that was violently dispersed, Cairo, Sept. 13, 2013.
Reuters
Egyptian troops and helicopter gunships attacked Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday in a drive to crush a security threat now spilling over into the rest of the country.
 
Three soldiers were wounded in clashes in three separate villages, security officials said.
 
Islamist militant attacks have increased in the desert region adjoining Israel and the Gaza Strip and elsewhere in Egypt since the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 following mass protests against his rule.
 
Rocket and grenade attacks on soldiers and policemen take place in the Sinai nearly every day and about 50 have been killed since July. A Sinai-based militant group claimed responsibility for a failed suicide bombing attack on the interior minister in Cairo last week.
 
In the latest operation, security forces detained two wanted men and seized a rocket, dynamite used to build bombs, and 200 books on Islamic fundamentalism, security officials said.
 
Authorities are also focused on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which had held power for just over a year when Morsi was ousted.
 
Thousands of pro-Morsi protesters marched after Friday prayers in several areas of Cairo after authorities boosted security in sites where crowds had gathered in the past.
 
Demonstrations were also held in the cities of Fayoum, Alexandria, Assiut and Qena. State television said clashes broke out between Brotherhood supporters and residents of the Nile Delta town of Mahala.
 
Crackdown on brotherhood
 
Security forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood supporters and arrested thousands in one of the toughest crackdowns the group has faced in its 85-year history. It denies accusations that it has carried out terrorist acts.
 
Many Egyptians, disillusioned with Morsi's moves to give himself sweeping powers and his mismanagement of the economy, were relieved when he was removed and then detained.
 
The general who toppled him and promised a political “road map” that would lead to elections early next year, army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, enjoys widespread popularity. Speculation is growing that he will run for president.
 
Many Brotherhood members went underground. But some still take part in marches, a risky step in a country where the authorities seem determined to crush the Islamists.
 
“Down, down with military rule!” shouted the demonstrators in Cairo.
 
Some walked to a military hospital and wrote graffiti on a wall reading: “The coup is terrorism and Sisi is a killer.”
 
The government imposed a nationwide state of emergency for a month on Aug. 14, and on Thursday extended it by two months because of the security situation.
 
Al-Qaida, has taken notice of the political turmoil in Egypt, a U.S. ally.
 
Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri has described the army-installed government's crackdown against the Brotherhood as a “brutal crime” and urged Egyptians to resist what he called a campaign against Islam.
 
'Long drama awaits'
 
In an audio speech released a day after the 12th anniversary of al-Qaida's Sept. 11 strikes on the United States, the former doctor condemned last month's violent break-up of protest camps in Cairo, in which hundreds were killed, and the arrests of Islamists.
 
“This is an episode of a long drama that awaits Egyptians if they don't unite to implement sharia Islamic law and free their country,” said Zawahri, himself an Egyptian who was tortured by authorities under ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak.
 
Zawahri also said the United States was conspiring in Egypt and called on Egyptians to fight the “oppression.”
 
Egypt, the most populous Arab state, put down an insurgency by supporters of Zawahri in the 1990s.
 
If militant groups now turn their sights on Cairo, the move  would further hurt the tourism industry and reeling economy. In addition to the attack on the interior minister, several smaller bomb attacks have been mounted against police in the capital.
 
Gunmen fired on an army checkpoint in the southern city of Assiut on Friday, wounding two soldiers, state-run Al-Ahram newspaper said.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs