News / Middle East

5 Killed in Cairo on Anniversary of Morsi Ouster

Pro-Morsi protesters run from tear gas during clashes with police in Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2014.
Pro-Morsi protesters run from tear gas during clashes with police in Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2014.
Reuters

Five men died in Cairo in separate incidents involving a bomb blast and protester clashes with security forces on Thursday, the first anniversary of the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, security sources said.

Thousands of Egyptians opposed to the army's ouster of Morsi last year joined rare protests in cities and towns around the country, witnesses said. Previous protests had much lower turnout after a new law required official approval.

Security was tight in Cairo as armored personnel carriers blocked off the city's central Tahrir Square to head off any possible protests there.

Since Morsi's ouster, his Muslim Brotherhood group was labeled a terrorist organization and thousands of Islamists have been jailed on accusations of terrorism and violence while militant Islamists have stepped up attacks on security forces.

"On July 3, Egyptians will revolt, marking the beginning of the end of the coup, marching from all towns and cities across Egypt to liberty squares in all provinces," an alliance of Morsi's supporters said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Three of Thursday's victims died in clashes that broke out in Cairo between protesters and security forces, security sources said. Unrest was reported both from the upscale district of Mohandiseen and poor areas such as Haram and Materiya.

Earlier in the day, two men were killed in a bomb blast in a flat in Kerdasa, a western district of the capital where around 10 policemen were killed in an Islamist mob attack last summer. Security sources said they believed one of the victims was involved in that police killing.

Series of bombs

Another explosive device detonated on Thursday in a car in the northeastern district of Abbassiya and three home-made bombs went off near police cars in the central district of Imbaba without causing injuries, the sources added.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the blasts. Cairo has been hit by a spate of small explosions in recent days and two police officers were killed on Monday trying to defuse bombs planted near the presidential palace.

Last week, a series of makeshift bombs exploded at Cairo metro stations, the first in the capital since Sisi was sworn in as president.

Following Morsi's overthrow last July, security services launched a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood politicians, activists and street protesters, jailing thousands and killing hundreds in clashes and raids.

Since then, some radical Islamist groups have repeatedly targeted police and soldiers in the capital and elsewhere, mostly by planting makeshift bombs.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt has declared a terrorist organization, denies any link to the violence.

The authorities' security dragnet has expanded over the past year to include secular and liberal activists, including many who played leading roles in a 2011 popular revolt that ousted veteran leader Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power.

A law passed after Morsi's fall has sharply restricted the right to protest. Last month, around 23 activists were arrested  over a rally in Cairo against the new law.

Rights concerns

Western governments and rights groups have voiced concern for freedom of expression in Egypt and the security clamp-down has dimmed hopes for democratic evolution in Egypt that had soared after the anti-Mubarak uprising three years ago.

Amnesty International condemned Egypt's human rights record in a statement on Thursday, saying torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions had increased since Morsi's political demise.

"Egypt's notorious state security forces - currently known as National Security - are back and operating at full capacity, employing the same methods of torture and other ill-treatment used during the darkest hours of the Mubarak era," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program.

The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the army ouster of Morsi, says it is committed to a democratic transition and the rule of law following the 2011 uprising.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs