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 On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
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 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.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid