News / Middle East

Clashes Flare at Pro-Morsi Marches Across Egypt

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi shout slogans during a protest named
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi shout slogans during a protest named "People Protect the Revolution" as they march towards the presidential palace in Cairo, Sept. 6, 2013.
Reuters
Two people were killed in skirmishes as supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi thronged Egypt's cities and towns on Friday for the third time in eight days, trying to rattle an army-backed government bent on crushing his Muslim Brotherhood.
 
But the authorities, who have killed hundreds of Morsi supporters and arrested most of its top leaders, pressed on with a campaign to neutralize Egypt's biggest political movement with a decision to clip its legal status.
 
Far from returning to normality after the army's overthrow of Morsi on July 3 following mass protests, the Arab world's most populous nation has remained on edge in fear of violence.
 
That fear was reinforced on Thursday when Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim survived a presumed suicide car bomb targeting his convoy, the culmination of a series of militant attacks.
 
Although it has yet to assign blame for that attack, the interim government has accused Brotherhood leaders of inciting violence, and portrayed the crackdown on the movement as a fight against terrorism - a view that many Egyptians endorse.
 
The new establishment has unveiled plans to revise the constitution to remove some Islamist-inspired amendments pushed through by Morsi, as well as lifting a ban on Mubarak-era officials returning to public office, before holding parliamentary and presidential elections early next year.
 
Friday's violence between Morsi supporters and either security forces or other supporters of the crackdown appeared more widespread than on either of the last two protest days.
 
A Reuters witness saw three men with swords set upon one of thousands of pro-Morsi protesters marching through Egypt's second city, Alexandria. Medical sources said one person involved in that protest was killed.
 
Another Morsi supporter was seen with birdshot wounds to the face, and Brotherhood supporters were seen punching and kicking a man they presumed to be hostile to them, the witness said.
 
State television showed footage of soldiers armed with assault rifles searching buildings in Alexandria, saying they were looking for gunmen who had opened fire on them.
 
One Morsi supporter was killed in Kafr el-Bateekh in Damietta province in clashes with government supporters where rocks, sticks and birdshot were used, according to witnesses and a medical official.
 
Tear Gas
 
In both Tanta in the Nile Delta and the southern city of Assiut, security forces used tear gas.
 
About 2,000 people marched in the Cairo district of Nasr City and 3,000 people in the port city of Suez.
 
There were also marches in Fayoum, three other cities in Assiut governorate and in eight cities in Minya governorate.
 
In the Delta city of Damanhour, hundreds took to the streets in a pro-government march, chanting “No to terrorism” and “Army, police and people are one hand”.
 
As with previous days of protest, the marches received scant coverage on tightly-controlled state television channels and privately-owned Egyptian media hostile to the Brotherhood.
 
Islamist-run stations were shut down after Morsi was deposed, leaving it to Al Jazeera's Egyptian channel, banned but still transmitting from its base in Qatar, to show live footage of Friday's marches.
 
A man reads the Muslim Brotherhood's newspaper Al-Hurriya wa-l-adala (Freedom of Justice), named after their political party in Cairo, Sept. 3, 2013.A man reads the Muslim Brotherhood's newspaper Al-Hurriya wa-l-adala (Freedom of Justice), named after their political party in Cairo, Sept. 3, 2013.
x
A man reads the Muslim Brotherhood's newspaper Al-Hurriya wa-l-adala (Freedom of Justice), named after their political party in Cairo, Sept. 3, 2013.
A man reads the Muslim Brotherhood's newspaper Al-Hurriya wa-l-adala (Freedom of Justice), named after their political party in Cairo, Sept. 3, 2013.
Separately, authorities announced they would within days dissolve a non-governmental organization registered by the Muslim Brotherhood in March.
 
Although short of a complete ban on the group, dissolving the NGO will strip the Brotherhood, which says it has a million members, of a defense against challenges to its legality.
 
The move stems from accusations that the group, which has won five consecutive national votes since autocratic president Hosni Mubarak's fall to a popular uprising in 2011, used its premises to store weapons and explosives.
 
The decision will be announced by Social Solidarity Minister Ahmed el-Boraie within days, his spokesman Hany Mahana said.
 
“Dr. el-Boraie has decided to dissolve the organization. The decree has not been issued yet,” he said.
 
Since July, the army-backed authorities have killed more than 900 of Morsi's faithful and arrested most of the movement's leaders, including Morsi, on charges of murder or inciting violence against anti-Brotherhood protesters.
 
The group says the charges are an excuse for the crackdown.
 
Militant Islamists have also attacked police and churches. More than 100 members of the security forces have been killed since Aug. 14, when the police killed hundreds of people while breaking up pro-Mursi protest camps in Cairo.
 
Assassination Attempt
 
One of the authors of that operation, Interior Minister Ibrahim, was the target of an assassination attempt on Thursday. A massive car bomb, almost certainly the work of a suicide bomber, blew up near his convoy as he set off for work, and his armored car was riddled with bullets.
 
In this image from Egyptian State Television, Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim responds to a reporter after an explosion near his convoy in Cairo, Sept. 5, 2013.In this image from Egyptian State Television, Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim responds to a reporter after an explosion near his convoy in Cairo, Sept. 5, 2013.
x
In this image from Egyptian State Television, Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim responds to a reporter after an explosion near his convoy in Cairo, Sept. 5, 2013.
In this image from Egyptian State Television, Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim responds to a reporter after an explosion near his convoy in Cairo, Sept. 5, 2013.
​A security source said three people had been killed in the blast: the person who detonated the bomb, a passerby who had died of their wounds, and a third person who was not identified.
 
The attack, staged in broad daylight, was by far the boldest since Morsi's overthrow, and its size and sophistication showed the risk that Egypt's crisis could spawn a wave of Islamist attacks like those it experienced in the 1980s and 1990s.
 
Radical Islamists have already stepped up an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula since Morsi was overthrown, and online calls from Islamists for an even more violent response have grown.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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