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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces a Chaotic World and the Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid