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 "People Protect the Revolution" as they march towards the presidential palace in Cairo, Sept. 6, 2013.
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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
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.

AppleAndroid