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Egypt Blog

Keep up with all the latest developments in Egypt as unrest continues to cripple the country following the military's removal of Mohamed Morsi as president on July 3.

  • Anti-coup student protesters returned to the streets in peaceful rallies in defiance of an ant-terror law that led to the killing of no less than five students since it was passed by the government on December 25.

    Youssof Salheen, a student at Al Azhar University and spokesman for the Students Anti-Coup Movement, said a student in the School of Commerce was killed during Saturday's protests which drew tens of students.

    Security forces were firing tear gas at gathering crowds. 
  • Human Rights Watch has urged the Egyptian government to reverse its decision of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, which it says is aimed at expanding the five-month crackdown on the group's peaceful protests.

    “By rushing to point the finger at the Brotherhood without investigations or evidence, the government seems motivated solely by its desire to crush a major opposition movement,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the human rights watch-dog's Middle East and North Africa director.

    As part of the anti-terror law, the bank accounts of over 1,000 nongovernmental organizations reportedly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood have been frozen, drastically affecting health services in Egypt, much of which Brotherhood-linked charities provide. The government has also begun procedures to seize over 140 Brotherhood-affiliated schools and to freeze the assets of over 130 of its senior leaders.

    “The government’s assault on the Brotherhood has gone beyond clamping down on peaceful political activities to curtailing desperately needed health services and schools for ordinary Egyptians,” Whitson said. “There seems to be no end to this wave of oppression.

  • It was a year to shatter myths in Egypt, as the man who was accused of trying to become another Hosni Mubarak was booted from power just one year into his presidency, his swift fall underscoring how little control he actually had over the state.

    Read Al Jazeera's full report here.

  • A supporter of Egyptian police throws back a Molotov cocktail at Muslim Brotherhood supporters at Al-Azhar University during clashes in Cairo on Friday [Reuters] 

  • At least five people have been killed and 265 others arrested as Egyptian riot police deployed water cannon and tear gas against hundreds of rock-throwing supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi, government officials said.

    The clashes on Friday followed an announcement by Egyptian authorities that they would use the Muslim Brotherhood's new designation as a terrorist organisation to levy harsh prison sentences on protesters.

    Read Al Jazeera's full report here.

  • Egyptian riot policemen run after protesters in Nasr City earlier today [AFP] 

  • This photo reportedly shows a woman being dragged by Egyptian security forces earlier today in Nasr City.
  • Anti-coup protesters during a rally in Helwan earlier today:

    حلوان 27/12/2013 - Helwan
    by Mgouda ElShaer via YouTube

  • Anti-coup demonstrators stand amid tear gas and smoke during a protest in Cairo earlier today [EPA] 
  • The Egyptian Ministry of Interior has reported that a third protester has been killed in Cairo, according to Reuters news agency.

    At least 265 anti-coup protesters have also been detained across the country.

    Elsewhere, three police officers, including the deputy head of police in Menia province, were injured in clashes, while a total of three police cars were set ablaze, ministry sources told Al Jazeera.

    [Al Jazeera and Reuters]

  • Conflict brings charities to a halt in Cairo
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube

    Cairo's poorest neighbourhoods are both the heart of Muslim Brotherhood support and the place where most of its affiliated charities work.

    But earlier this week, the Egyptian Central Bank froze the funds of more than 1,000 non-governmental organizations, in response to a September court ruling that ordered the disbanding of the Muslim Brotherhood and the confiscation of assets and funds of any of its affiliates.

    Al Jazeera's Peter Greste reports from Cairo.

  • Muslim Brotherhood supporters rally in front of Al Rayyan Mosque after Friday prayers in Maadi, on the outskirts of Cairo [Reuters]

    At least two people have been killed at protests in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, sources have told Al Jazeera.

    One 20-year-old protester was shot and killed in Damietta province, while another protester was killed in Menia when a tear gas canister struck him in the face, as police dispersed rallies across Egypt on Friday in support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Another 147 people have been arrested throughout the country, according to Egypt's Ministry of Interior, and two police cars were set ablaze in Cairo and Menia.

    Read Al Jazeera's full report here.

  • Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed President Mohamed Morsi protested in Alexandria earlier today.

    Watch a video of the protest here.
  • Two people have been killed at protests in support of the Muslim Brotherhood today, sources have told Al Jazeera.

    One 20-year-old protester was shot and killed in Damietta province, when police dispersed a demonstration. Another protester was killed in Menia when a tear gas canister struck him in the face.

    Another 147 people have been arrested across the country, according to Egypt's Ministry of Interior.
  • Police forces fired tear gas and birdshots at protesters near Al-Azhar University on the first Friday, hours after a student was killed in rallies against the July 3 military-led oust of President Mohamed Morsi.

    Although protests are a norm after Friday prayers, this is the first Friday after the government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, a terrorist group.
  • One person has died as student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with residents of a Cairo district where they were protesting, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. 

    Police fired tear gas after the Al-Azhar University students clashed on Thursday with residents in the Nasr City district of northeast Cairo, where birdshot gunfire was exchanged, the statement said. 

    Al Jazeera has confirmed that the deceased, a male, was in the university's agricultural department. Seven students were arrested during the clashes. [Reuters and Al Jazeera]

  • Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma in Cairo court on December 22 [Reuters]

    Three imprisoned Egyptian activists have started a hunger strike against what they describe as mistreatment in jail, according to a statement on the website of the April 6 protest movement.

    The statement said activists Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Douma started a hunger strike on Wednesday, after having been denied winter clothes and subjected to psychological abuse by prison staff.

    A court this month gave the activists three-year prison sentences for protesting without permission and assaulting police.

    They had taken part in demonstrations against a law passed by Egypt's interim government in November banning protests without permission from the authorities.

    "There is no bad treatment at all, all prisoners are treated the same," an Interior Ministry spokesman said, denying the activists' claims of mistreatment.

    The three activists are symbols of the uprising that toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, while Maher and Adel are leading members of April 6, one of Egypt's leading youth movements.

    Douma, a prominent blogger, was previously detained in a separate case under ousted President Mohamed Morsi for allegedly calling him a criminal and inciting violence. He went on another hunger strike in June in protest of his detention. [Reuters]

  • Armed Forces General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks during a military ceremony in Cairo on December 26, 2013 [Reuters] 

    Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has vowed to fight "terrorism" and stabilise the country, in his first comments after two bombings rocked Egypt this week.

    "Do not worry or fear, the army will sacrifice for Egypt. We will eliminate" terrorism, Sisi said at a military ceremony on Thursday.

    "Do not allow these terrorist actions to affect you. If you want freedom and stability, which is not achieved easily, then you have to trust God and your army and your police," said Sisi, in a statement released by the army.

    On Tuesday, a bombing at a police station in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 14 people and wounded many others. A bomb exploded near a bus in Cairo on Thursday, wounding five.

    Sisi, who led the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, said the Egyptian defence forces had the capability to make Egypt "stable, secure and progressive".

    Sisi's remarks came a day after Egypt's interim government labelled Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, and began arresting Brotherhood members. [AFP]
  • Seven Muslim Brotherhood members have been detained for a renewable two-week period in the city of  Alexandria and 11 others in the Nile Delta town of Zagazig, Egypt's official MENA news agency has reported.

    Police also arrested 16 suspected Muslim Brotherhood members for passing out leaflets in
    support of the group and "inciting to violence," the agency

    The interim Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation on Wednesday, giving authorities greater freedom to crack down on the group.

    Possessing Muslim Brotherhood literature, or supporting them "verbally or in writing," is punishable by up to five years in prison, an Interior Ministry statement said.

    The Brotherhood still organises almost daily protests demanding the return of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, nearly six months after the military overthrew him. [AFP]

  • Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the arrest of seven Muslim Brotherhood members, including an ex-lawmaker, on accusations of belonging to a terrorist group, according to Egyptian state media.

    The seven members include the son of a deputy leader of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi's party, the official MENA news agency reported. 

    The move comes a day after the interim Egyptian government designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation. [AFP]

  • Five people were injured on Thursday when a bomb exploded near a bus in the Egyptian capital, two days after a blast at a police station in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 14 people.

    The explosion happened in the Nasr City neighbourhood, in front of Al-Azhar University. Ambulance workers said one of the injured passengers was in critical condition.

    Read Al Jazeera's full report here.

  • Head of Explosives' Department at the Ministry of Interior General Alaa Abdel Thaher has said that all injured people from the blast were transferred to a hospital, with one in a critical condition.

    A second home-made bomb was diffused before it went off, Abdel Thaher said, according to state-run newspaper Ahram Gate. [Al Jazeera]
  • A bomb went off in a public transport bus in  the Egyptian capital on Thursday, wounding five people, security officials and  a medic said.

    Security officials said they were investigating whether the bomb had been placed on the bus or hurled by an assailant. The victims received mild to  moderate injuries, a health ministry official said.

    Militants have killed scores of policemen and soldiers in attacks since the  military's overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in July, but this appeared to  be the first bombing of a civilian target.

    The bombing took place on a busy street in the north Cairo neighbourhood of Nasr City, the officials said.

    State television said that security forces also diffused a second bomb in the same vicinity, without reporting any deaths

    It comes two days after a suicide car bomber killed 15 people, mostly policemen, in an attack on their headquarters in a Nile Delta city. [AP and Al Jazeera]

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  • A leader of the Muslim Brotherhood vowed that the movement would keep up protests after Egypt's military-installed government designated it a "terrorist" group on Wednesday.

    "The protests will continue, certainly," Ibrahim Munir, a member of the group's executive council who is in exile in London, told AFP, adding the move was "illegitimate".

    "This is an attempt to frame the Brotherhood," Munir said of the decision, taken a day after a suicide bombing of a police headquarters in the city of Mansoura killed 16 people, in an attack claimed by an Al-Qaeda-inspired militant group.

    The interim government blamed the movement for the bombing and said on Wednesday that it had "decided to declare the Muslim Brotherhood movement a terrorist organisation". [AFP]
  • Egypt declares Brotherhood 'terrorist group'

  • From Cairo, Wafaa Hefny, Anti-Coup Alliance, told Al Jazeera: "the announcement by the government means very little because they have been already rounding up MB members for several months now."

  • Egypt declares Muslim Brotherhood a 'terrorist group'

    Egypt's military-backed interim government on Wednesday declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, criminalizing all its activities, its financing and even membership to the group from which the country's ousted president hails.

    Hossam Eissa, the Minister of Higher Education, read out the Cabinet statement after long meeting, saying: “The Cabinet has declared the Muslim Brotherhood group and its organization as a terrorist organization.”

    He said that the decision was in response to Tuesday's deadly bombing targeting a police headquarters in a Nile Delta city which killed 16 people and wounded more than 100. 

    “Egypt was horrified from north to south by the hideous crime committed by the Muslim Brotherhood group,” Eissa said. 

    “This was in context of dangerous escalation to violence against Egypt and Egyptians (and) a clear declaration by the Muslim Brotherhood group that it is still knows nothing but violence.''

    “It's not possible for Egypt the state nor Egypt the people to submit to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorism,” he added.

    Eissa offered no evidence in his speech linking the Brotherhood to Tuesday's attack. [AP]

  • An al-Qaeda-inspired group based in Egypt's Sinai has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of the police headquarters that killed 16 on Tuesday. 

    Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or the Champions of Jerusalem, says it carried out a suicide bombing in the northern city of Mansoura to avenge the "shedding of innocent Muslim blood" at the hands of Egypt's "apostate regime" a reference to the security forces' crackdown on Islamists following the July military coup that ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

    The claim was posted Wednesday on a militant website the group has used before. It identified the suicide bomber in Tuesday's attack by his nickname, Abu Mariam.

    The group has claimed responsibility for several attacks before this. [AP]

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  • Egypt bombing sets off angry protests

  • The United Nations have demanded the release of three Egyptian activists jailed for three years for organising an unauthorised protest, a spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office said.

    The convictions on Sunday are "of great concern", Ravina Shamdasani said, calling for the "immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners detained solely in connection with peaceful protests, unless the authorities have solid evidence (of) recognisable criminal offences."

    The convictions of Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel were the first against pro-democracy protesters - as opposed to Islamists - since the July 3 overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi, whose Islamist supporters have borne the brunt of a deadly crackdown.

    "Participation in peaceful protests and criticising the government should not be grounds for detention or prosecution," Shamdasani added in a statement on Tuesday.

    The statement said "dozens of individuals, including students, have been arbitrarily detained and some convicted following what appears to be the exercise of their legitimate rights to peaceful assembly and expression" in Egypt.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also joined the chorus of criticism, saying via spokesman Martin Nesirky that the convictions were "contrary to the spirit of Egypt's revolution nearly three years ago."

    Ban also "reminds Egyptian officials that freedom of assembly and expression are essential elements for credible elections," Nesirky added.

  • Egypt's former prime minister arrested

    Egyptian state television is reporting that the country's former prime minister, who served under the nation's toppled President Mohamed Morsi, has been arrested to serve a one-year prison sentence.

    The broadcaster reported Hisham Qandil's arrest on Tuesday. 

    The case goes back to 2011 when a court ruled in favor of reversing deals struck by ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak when his government sold a textile company to a Saudi investor.

    A court sentenced Qandil to one year in prison for failing to implement the court order.

    The sentence was issued before a popularly-backed military coup overthrew Morsi on July 3.

    Morsi appointed Kandil, a US-educated engineer who was an unknown technocrat and former water minister, prime minister in July 2012.

  • Thousands of Egyptians attended the funeral of the victims of the bombing in Mansoura. Tuesday's blast killed 15 people and injured 150 others. [AFP Photo]
  • Egypt bombing sets off angry protests in Mansoura, north of Cairo.

  • Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour has declared three days of mourning for the victims of the deadly bombing in Mansoura on Tuesday. 

    "The state has already defeated terrorism in the 1990s, and will overcome it again," Mansour said, referring to a years-long insurgency that killed hundreds of people.

    "Our war on terrorism has become a priority in the current period... the presidency will not hesitate to take exceptional measures to provide for the homeland and protect its citizens."
  • Egypt's interior ministry said on Tuesday that preliminary investigations show that the bombing in Mansoura north of Cairo was a suicide bomber,  according to Al Jazeera's Gregg Carlstrom, who is reporting from Cairo.

    The bomber reportedly drove a car loaded with explosives, then rammed through the barricades around the police station and detonated the car, killing at least 15 people and injuring 150 others.

  • Egyptian mourners participate in the funeral of victims killed in an explosion outside the police headquarters, in Mansoura north of Cairo. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed at least 14 people and inured 150. But the government has been blaming ousted president Mohamed Morsi's loyalists and the Muslim Brotherhood for the violence. [EPA]
  • Angry protesters in Egypt  have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being "terrorists," and burned down vehicles next to a building reportedly owned by the group, in an "act of revenge," Al Jazeera's Mahmoud Sobky, reporting from Mansoura, said. 

    "There are hundreds of protesters demonstrating against the Muslim Brotherhood, and they consider the Brotherhood responsible for what happened to the police HQ building earlier today," he said.

    "People are walking around in the streets, carrying megaphones, calling the Brotherhood a terrorist group and encouraging revenge against them. A building owned by the MB has been attacked and is on fire, in an act of revenge."
    by nadine.cheaib edited by Ted.Regencia 12/24/2013 3:10:49 PM
  • Egyptian protesters condemn bombing

    Hundreds of angry residents marched to the police headquarters of the Egyptian city of Mansoura on Tuesday morning, accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of carrying out an earlier attack on the building, which killed at least 13 people.

    The protesters chanted anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans as they gathered outside the building.

    "Everyone knows that it is a terrorist group (Muslim Brotherhood) and security forces have to work harder. Today they attacked here and God knows where tomorrow," said one Mansoura resident, Ahmed El Asnawy.

    A powerful explosion believed to have been caused by a car bomb ripped through the police headquarters in the Nile Delta city north of Cairo in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

    About 150 were wounded in the attack, which left scores buried under the rubble.
  • Egypt's PM links Muslim Brotherhood to bombing 

    Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi described the attack in Mansoura as a "terrorist incident," and vowed that the perpetrators "will not escape justice.''

    In a press conference on Tuesday, Beblawi blamed the incident on the Muslim Brotherhood. 

    "The incident we saw was the most heinous form of terrorism," Beblawi said.

    An Egyptian policeman receives medical treatment at a hospital following a powerful car bomb explosion in the Egyptian city of Mansoura, north of Cairo. At least 13 people were killed and 150 were injured in the blast. [AFP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled]

  • Egypt detains four people after attack

    Mohamed Ibrahim, Egypt's Interior Minister, said four people have been arrested after admitting their involvement to the deadly bombing in Mansoura, north of Cairo. 

    "The attacks are an attempt to create a diversion and to terrorise people because of the referendum," he said. "But I want to reassure people that there is a plan in place, in cooperation with the armed forces to protect all of the election centers at the highest level."

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