Egypt rocked by protests, violence on revolution’s anniversary

26th Jan 2014

Anti-government protesters and security forces have clashed in Egypt, leaving several people dead. Meanwhile, a police station in Sinai has been rocked by an explosion one day after a series of bomb attacks in Cairo.

Thousands of pro-military demonstrators marched in Tahrir Square on Saturday, commemorating the third anniversary of Egypt’s turbulent revolution, which led to the downfall of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Some of the pro-military demonstrators chanted slogans calling for General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to run for president and demanding the execution of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leaders.

Meanwhile, a mix of pro-Brotherhood Islamists and secular liberals tried to hold anti-government counterdemonstrations. But security forces fired teargas and birdshot at the protesters in clashes that left 29 people dead and dozens injured nationwide.

‘Break the coup’

In a statement released during Saturday’s clashes, the Muslim Brotherhood vowed to continue demonstrating “until it regains its rights and breaks the coup and puts the killers on trial.”

Last July, General el-Sissi launched a military coup in response to anti-Islamist demonstrations that had swelled into the millions. El-Sissi overthrew Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist and Egypt’s first democratically elected president, installing an interim government in his stead.

Clashes that summer left 1,000 Morsi supporters dead. The military subsequently declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and jailed its leaders.

More bomb attacks

In the restive Sinai Peninsula, a car bomb exploded near a police camp in the city of Suez on Saturday. Earlier in the day, another bomb went off next to a police training institute in Cairo. It remains unclear whether anyone was harmed in those attacks.

A military helicopter also crashed in Sinai on Saturday, leaving its five-member crew dead. The military said it was investigating the cause of the crash.

On Friday, Islamist militants detonated four bombs targeting the Egyptian police, leaving at least six people dead. An al Qaeda-linked group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for Friday’s bombings, saying that they were part of a broader campaign against the Egyptian state.

The group, whose name means Partisans of Jerusalem, said the explosives had been detonated remotely and warned Muslims to stay away from police stations.

slk/mkg (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)


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