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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid