News / Middle East

Protests Staged at Egypt's Universities Against Army Takeover

Cairo university students and members of the Muslim Brotherhood shout slogans against the military, in front of Cairo University in Cairo, Oct. 8, 2013.
Cairo university students and members of the Muslim Brotherhood shout slogans against the military, in front of Cairo University in Cairo, Oct. 8, 2013.
Reuters
Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters chanted “Down with the military government” outside Cairo University on Tuesday, defying Egypt's army-backed authorities despite deadly clashes with security forces two days earlier.
 
Supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi had urged university students to protest against the army following the violence on Sunday, one of Egypt's bloodiest days since the military ousted the Islamist leader on July 3.
 
The death toll from Sunday's unrest rose to 57, state media said, with 391 people wounded.
 
Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whom the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood accuses of staging a coup, kept Egyptians guessing about his political ambitions, declining to confirm or deny whether he would run for president.
 
“I think the time is not suitable now to ask this question while the country is passing through challenges and dangers that require us to be focused,” he said in an interview on the website of the Al Masry Al Youm daily.
 
“God wills what will be,” he added.
 
Sisi is the lead villain for Morsi supporters who accuse him of working with security forces to eliminate the group through violence and arrests, allegations the military denies.
 
“We are here standing against the coup,” said Enas Madkour, a 19-year-old fine arts student at the march near Cairo University, where security forces had parked two tanks and blocked the main road with barbed wire.
 
“I'm against Morsi but I'm not for people killing others and I'm not for the military government we have now,” said Madkour, who wore a headscarf, as most Muslim women do in Egypt.
 
Some students dismissed those views.
 
“Sisi is a hero and there's no one like him,” said Rania Ibrahim, 18. “Morsi was a traitor and the Brotherhood are dogs!” her friend added.
 
Small protests also occurred at Helwan University in southern Cairo, witnesses said. At Zagazig University, northeast of Cairo, pro-Brotherhood students clashed with residents and Brotherhood opponents with fists, sticks and stones, security sources said. Eight people were wounded.
 
NOG registration revoked
 
Security forces killed hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters in Cairo in August and then arrested many Brotherhood leaders. On Tuesday, the government revoked the registration of a non-governmental organization set up by the Brotherhood in March to enable it to operate legally.
 
Last month, a court banned the Brotherhood and froze its assets, pushing the group, which had dominated elections since Hosni Mubarak's fall in 2011, further into the cold. A court is due to hear an appeal of that decision on Oct. 22.
 
The army has presented a political plan it promised would bring fair elections, but the Brotherhood has refused to take part in the transition, saying that would legitimize a coup.
 
Tamarud, the youth movement that had called for mass protests which pushed the army to depose Morsi, said in a statement it would run in parliamentary elections, expected to take place early next year.
 
Protecting tourist sites
 
Along with political turmoil, a surge in militant attacks has hurt tourism, a main foreign currency earner, due to fears it is no longer safe to visit Egypt's pyramids and beaches.
 
Gunmen killed a police officer and wounded another in the city of Port Said on Tuesday, and the interior ministry said Egypt may install security cameras at tourist sites.
 
“There's a security plan in place in tourist areas that will maintain stability in these areas,” Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said. “We expected all these problems because we are in a war against terrorism.”
 
Al Qaeda-inspired militants have attacked police and soldiers almost daily in the Sinai Peninsula since Morsi fell.
 
The assaults are the most sustained since an Islamist insurgency that was crushed by then-President Mubarak in the 1990s, when militants killed tourists, government officials and policemen. A total of about 1,200 people died on both sides.
 
Attacks by militants in the Sinai have killed more than 100 soldiers and police since early July, the army said on Sept. 15.
 
Last month the interior minister survived an assassination attempt in Cairo. Security and judicial sources said on Tuesday that three Egyptians linked to al Qaeda, and two Palestinians, were behind the attack. A Sinai-based Islamist militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis had claimed responsibility.
 
Though the Brotherhood, which renounced violence decades ago, has been weakened, Islamist groups that sympathize with it show no signs of giving up protests against Morsi's overthrow.
 
With Egypt's oldest and best organized Islamist movement now effectively excluded from mainstream politics, the stage may be set for an insurgency to take hold beyond the Sinai, a stronghold for militants, near the border with Israel.
 
On Monday, suspected militants killed six soldiers near the Suez Canal and fired rocket-propelled grenades at a state satellite station in Cairo.
 
The previously-unknown al-Furqan group claimed responsibility in an Internet video whose authenticity could not immediately be verified.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs