News / Middle East

    2 Police Officers Killed in Bomb Blasts Near Cairo Palace

    Police and explosive investigators stand with detectors while they search for possible bombs in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, June 30, 2014.
    Police and explosive investigators stand with detectors while they search for possible bombs in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, June 30, 2014.
    Reuters

    Two Egyptian police officers were killed on Monday while trying to defuse makeshift bombs planted near Cairo's presidential palace by Islamist militants close to the anniversary of the army's overthrow of an elected Islamist president.

    Radical Islamists have repeatedly attacked police and soldiers with bombings and shootings since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood denies any link to the violence.

    The militant group Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, said it had planted several bombs near the presidential palace to target security forces before realizing that civilians could be in danger. It later released a statement saying it had been unable to remove the devices and urging passersby to be cautious.

    “There are two explosive devices ... at the corner of the palace at the intersection of al-Ahram and al-Merghani streets”, read the statement that appeared on its Twitter account.

    One police officers were killed as security forces tried to deactivate a bomb found at that location, and a second officer was killed during a similar operation in a nearby street, the interior ministry said in a statement.

    Monday was the first anniversary of mass street protests against Morsi's rule that brought about his removal by the armed forces on July 3. The then-army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was elected president in May.

    Thousands of Brotherhood leaders including Morsi and supporters have since been arrested, scores sentenced to death and hundreds more have been killed in a security crackdown on Egypt's oldest Islamist movement.

    Eight people were hurt in a series of explosions last week on Cairo's metro, the first attacks in the capital since Sissi was sworn in as president.

    'War against terrorism'

    The security dragnet has since been expanded to include secular and liberal activists, including many who played leading roles in the 2011 popular revolt that ousted autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.

    The right to protest has been sharply restricted by a law passed after Morsi's fall last year. Around 23 activists were arrested at the weekend over a rally in Cairo against the law.

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

    The jailing last week of three Al Jazeera journalists for seven years on charges of assisting banned Islamists caused an international outcry. Cairo rejected the condemnations as interference.

    For the United States, concern over rights issues are balanced by the importance of Egypt as a strategic partner in the Middle East.

    Sissi, who resigned from his post as army chief in order to run for president, has urged the United States to provide military equipment to Egypt in its campaign against militants.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said during a visit to Cairo earlier this month that Egypt would be given aid in the form of Apache helicopters to use against militants active in the Sinai Peninsula that borders Israel.  

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora