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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More