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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.

  • Two killed in clashes between Egyptian police and protesters

    Two people have been killed in violent clashes between supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and police in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria, the Ministry of Interior said.

    The Interior Ministry said the clashes erupted late on Wednesday during two marches organised by some 200 Muslim Brotherhood members in Alexandria.

    "They  blocked the road... set shops on fire, burned a citizen's car, fired guns and bird
    shot 
    and clashed with and terrorised the people," the ministry said in a written statement on Thursday.

    It said some residents had exchanged fire with the Brotherhood protesters, killing two people and injured three police officers. 

    Police ended the clashes and arrested 10 protesters, the Interior Ministry said.

    [Reuters]


  • Inside Story - Egypt: An assault on free press?

  • Egypt says dozens for artifacts missing from museum

    Nearly a hundred small artifacts, some dating back to the time of the pharaohs, have gone missing from a museum in southern Egypt, officials said Wednesday.

    The Ministry of Antiquities said 96 artifacts, mostly small figurines and beads, disappeared from the Aswan Museum's storehouse.

    A committee looking into the objects' disappearance checked the storehouse's inventory and found that the lock on the inner door had been broken.

    Officials in Aswan said the disappearance was a first for the museum, which has not experienced the thefts that have plagued some other museums around the country throughout the unrest of the past three years. They said evidence pointed to an insider theft.

    They spoke anonymously as they weren't authorized to brief the press, Egypt's ancient treasures have suffered during the aftermath of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. 

    During the 18 days of protest that led to Mubarak stepping down, 51 pieces were stolen from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, located on the edge of Tahrir Square, the center of the uprising. Some have been recovered.

    Not long after Mubarak left office on Feb, 11, 2011, a Jordanian man was caught trying to smuggle as many as 3,753 artifacts including pharaonic statues, Roman coins, and medieval jewelry out of the country, according to earlier statements by Interior Ministry officials.

    There have also been a number of break-ins at antiquity storehouses around the country. In one of the largest thefts, in the city of Qantara on the Sinai peninsula, roughly 800 artifacts were damaged or stolen, with some subsequently recovered.

    Located next to ruins on the tip of Elephantine Island in the Nile in Egypt's southernmost city, the Aswan Museum holds artifacts from the southern region of Nubia. [AP]

  • Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church leader Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria (r), and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb (l), address a joint press conference after their meeting in Cairo, January 1st. Tayeb offered the Christmas greetings to Tawadros II as Copts will celebrate Christmas on 6 January. [EPA Photo]
  • Egyptian police fire tear gas at protesters near Defence Ministry

    Egyptian police fired tear gas and water cannons at hundreds of pro-Islamist protesters demonstrating near the Defence Ministry in Cairo on Wednesday, state media said.

    Protests have been staged by supporters of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi since the army removed him from office in July after mass protests against his rule.

    On Wednesday, the state-run Al-Ahram website said about 300 university students from the Muslim Brotherhood had blocked a road near the Defence Ministry and chanted anti-police and army slogans.

    "The police had to use water cannons and tear gas after the students refused to open the street and leave," Ahram said adding some protesters were arrested.

    Police also fired tear gas on pro-Mursi student protesters from the state's main university in the Nile Delta city of Zakazik, Mursi's home town.

    Mursi's removal opened the bloodiest chapter in Egypt's modern history. Security forces have killed hundreds of his supporters, while around 400 soldiers and policemen have been killed, many in attacks by Islamist militants in the Sinai peninsula, bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip. [Reuters]
  • Egypt Christians hope for peace after months of unrest

    Egypt's Christians rang in the new year  on Wednesday with prayers for peace after months of unrest, but expressed no regrets over backing the military's overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed  Morsi.

    Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 86 million people and constitute the largest Christian community in the Middle East, have long complained of official discrimination and feared attacks by radical Islamists.

    After security forces violently dispersed two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo in August, setting off clashes in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed, Islamist mobs unleashed their fury on Copts, setting fire to homes, shops and churches, mainly in central Egypt.

    But Copts interviewed this week stood by their decision to support the massive protests demanding the ouster of Morsi, who many Christians feared was trying to transform Egypt into an Islamic state. [AFP]
  • The fall of Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood means instability is likely to continue into the new year.

    Read our year-ender/lookahead analysis on Egypt. Click here for more.




  • Morsi supporters clashed with police Tuesday outside a church in Cairo,
    security officials said, as Christians held prayers
    to mark the New
    Year.

    The Islamists, with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, had been marching
    when
    they clashed with police standing guard outside the church.

    The Islamists have blamed Christians for supporting Morsi's ouster
    by the
    military on July 3, following days of massive protests demanding the
    Islamist's
    resignation.

    Police beefed up security around churches on
    Tuesday in anticipation of any
    attacks.

    [AFP]
  • Inside Story - Egypt: Will a tough legal approach work?

  • Gunmen blast gas pipeline in Sinai 

    Unknown assailants have attacked a natural gas pipeline in the Sinai, Egyptian security sources told Reuters, raising concerns of instability as the country pushes through with a roadmap for political transition to democracy.

    The blast took place on Tuesday in the central region of Sinai on a pipeline that carried natural gas to an industrial area.

    There were so far no reports of casualties and security forces are scanning the area to investigate the cause of the blast, the sources said.

    Egypt has been struggling to maintain stability in the country of 85 million people since the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi, the country's first elected leader, on July 3 following mass protests against his rule.

    Supporters of Morsi have called the army move a military coup and staged regular protests demanding his reinstatement. [Reuters]

  • Egypt seizes Brotherhood, Islamist leaders' assets

    Egypt's interim government has ordered the assets of more than 500 Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist leaders seized, senior judicial and security officials said Tuesday.

    Abdel-Azzem el-Ashri, a Justice Ministry spokesman, said that a ministerial inventory committee ordered the "movable and immovable properties'' of 572 Muslim Brotherhood leaders seized. 

    Another Justice Ministry official said leaders on the list included toppled President Mohammed Morsi and his family, as well as provincial Brotherhood leaders and members of its General Guidance Bureau, which is the group's executive body.

    A security official said the list also included female Muslim Brotherhood members like Azza el-Garf and wife of leader Khairat el-Shater and his daughter. 

    He said other Islamist leaders include Assem Abdel-Maged, the leader of Gamaa Islamiyah, which waged an anti-government insurgency in 1990s against autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

    The two officials said that the list includes those indicted in cases of inciting violence and those are under investigation or could be investigated.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists. [AP]
  • Egyptian security forces arrest Brotherhood leaders's son

    Egyptian security forces have arrested the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader on charges of inciting violence, the Interior Ministry said, in the latest move in a crackdown against the group now branded a terrorist organisation.

    Anas Beltagi was arrested on Monday with two others in an apartment in Nasr City, the same district where security forces in August broke up protests calling for the reinstatement of President Mohamed Mursi.

    They were found in possession of a shotgun and ammunition, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

    Since Mursi's overthrow, security forces have been struggling with some of the worst violence Egypt has seen in decades but the Muslim Brotherhood has denied any links to violence or terrorism.

    The United States expressed concern on Monday about the government's designation of the Brotherhood as a terrorist group, as well as the ongoing detentions and arrests by security forces.

    "We remain deeply concerned about all of the politically motivated arrests, detentions, and charges in Egypt. These actions raise questions about the rule of law being applied impartially and equitably, and do not move Egypt's transition forward," US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in Washington. [Reuters]
  • The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Monday classified Egypt alongside Syria and Iraq as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists to operate in.

    "Amid stark political polarization and related street violence, things deteriorated dramatically for journalists in Egypt, where six journalists were killed for their work in 2013," the CPJ said. [Reuters]

  • Al Jazeera demands the release of its four journalists held in Egypt: Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, Peter Greste, and Mohamed Fawzy 


  • Egyptian court jails Morsi supporters

  • Egypt sentences 139 pro-Morsi protesters

    An Egyptian court has convicted 139 supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on charges ranging from rioting to sabotage, and sentenced each to two-year prison terms.

    The mass trial was among scores of court cases and prosecutions in Egypt that have followed the popularly-backed July coup that ousted Morsi from power.

    The 139 were arrested on July 15 for holding street protests demanding Morsi's reinstatement. Egypt's official news agency, MENA, says they clashed with residents and street vendors in a downtown Cairo district, Bab el-Shaariya.

    MENA says the court Monday ruled that the defendants could pay nearly 700 dollars in fines to have their sentences suspended until a higher tribunal issues a final verdict.

    The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, has held near-daily protests to denounce his ouster. [AP]

  • To read the full story click here.  

    Egypt's security forces have arrested four Al Jazeera journalists in Cairo.

    Correspondent Peter Greste, producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed as well as cameraman Mohamed Fawzy are being held in custody after arrested by security forces on Sunday evening.
  • US voices concerns over Egypt's political climate 

    [Reuters] 
    US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has expressed concern over the current political climate in Egypt ahead of the constitutional referendum set to take place in January.

    In his call on Monday with Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Hagel "stressed the role of political inclusiveness", and the two men discussed "the balance between security and freedom", spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

    Egypt's army-backed government formally declared the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist organisation" on December 25.

    And the army has used the new classification to detain hundreds of Brotherhood supporters and thousands more are already in jail, following an attack on a police headquarters.

    The "terrorist" classification was the government's latest step in cracking down on  the group following the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi in July. 

    As tensions grow between supporters and opponents of the Brotherhood, officials have warned Egyptians against participating in protests in support of the group. 

    [Reuters]

  • Egypt's economy on the up

    Cairo's benchmark index on Wednesday
    climbed to its highest level in three years and is up 24 percent
    year-to-date [AP] 

    Egypt's stock market could recover on Monday from two sessions of declines after the country's interim president Adly Mansour said parliamentary and presidential elections will be held within six months of approval of the new constitution.

    A referendum on the new charter is expected to be held in January. 

    The interim government's move towards restoring full civilian rule, and billions of dollars in financial aid provided by Gulf countries, have lifted confidence in the market in recent months.

    [Reuters]
  • In the face of Egypt's ongoing conflict, some still took time on Sunday to prepare for next month's festivities marking Prophet Mohamed's birthday.

    Factory workers in Cairo decorate candy dolls for the upcoming celebration of the birthday of Prophet Mohamed on January 13. The decoration of candy dolls for this occasion dates back to the time of Fatimi rule in Egypt. [EPA] 
    Factory workers in Cairo decorate candy dolls for the upcoming celebration of the birthday of Prophet Mohamed on January 13. The decoration of candy dolls for this occasion dates back to the time of Fatimi rule in Egypt. [EPA]  
    Factory workers in Cairo decorate candy dolls for the upcoming celebration of the birthday of Prophet Mohamed on January 13. The decoration of candy dolls for this occasion dates back to the time of Fatimi rule in Egypt. [EPA]  
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  • After much pulling and tugging between Egypt's military-backed government and the Muslim Brotherhood, the state has adopted a highly controversial "anti-terrorism" law that effectively freezes any legal activity from the country's largest opposition group. 

    The law, which criminalises any kind of participation linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, intensifies Egypt's political polarisation. 

    Read Al Jazeera's full report here.
  • The top US defense official has expressed "concern" about recent developments in Egypt in a call to Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Pentagon said. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday expressed his condolences for the victims of a spate of recent bomb attacks in Egypt, and offered US assistance to investigate the incidents. [Reuters]
  • Four soldiers were wounded in Sunday's bombing of an army intelligence building. The explosion, which the army called a "cowardly terrorist" act, comes as the military-installed authorities plan to hold a referendum on a new constitution next month, the first step towards democracy since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July. [AFP]
  • Egypt's interim president has said that the government is committed to holding parliamentary and presidential elections within six months of the approval of a new constitution, set to be voted on next month.

    Adly Mansour said on Sunday that presidential elections can come before parliamentary ones, without violating a military-backed roadmap devised after a coup ousted former President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

    The new constitution, which Egyptians are scheduled to vote for on January 14-15, would allow the presidential vote to come first, Mansour said.

    To read Al Jazeera's full report, click here.

  • At a news conference today, Nabil El Araby, secretary general of the Arab League, addressed the clashes between students and Egyptian security forces at Al Azhar University.

    "I cannot imagine that students would burn a university and deny their fellow students from entering the exams," he said. "This does not help anyone and we need to get over such actions."

    [Associated Press]
  • Photos from the car bomb that was detonated earlier today near a military intelligence building in Sharqiya province, in Egypt's Nile Delta:

    [Reuters] 

    [Reuters] 
  • More details have emerged in the car bombing that rocked Sharqiya, in Egypt’s Nile Delta, on Sunday morning.

    Three men left a car laden with 20kg of explosives by the entrance to the military intelligence building, according to an Egyptian military spokesperson.

    The men detonated the bomb from a distance with a remote control, before leaving the scene in a truck that was waiting for them, the army said.

    The military is conducting a search of the the area for the assailants.

    At least five people were injured in the explosion, the third bombing on the mainland in less than a week.

    [Al Jazeera]

  • 32 students from Al Azhar University have been arrested during clashes today, according to Egypt's Ministry of Interior.

    Al-Azhar University students set off fireworks during clashes with riot police at the university's campus in Cairo today, December 29 [Reuters]

    [Al Jazeera and Reuters]
  • Egyptian riot police and students have clashed on the campus of Cairo's Al-Azhar University today. [PHOTOS: EPA]



  • Clashes have broken out between students and Egyptian security forces during the latest in a long-running series of anti-coup protests at Al Azhar University in Cairo.

    Police fired tear gas and sound grenades into the campus in efforts to disperse protesters on Sunday, while students threw Molotov cocktails, stones and fireworks, according to Reuters news agency.

    Two student protesters were killed on Saturday after participating in protests at the university.

    Watch videos of Egyptian security forces shooting from a window at Al Azhar University, and of injured students being taken to a makeshift hospital.

    A live link to what is happening at Al Azhar University can be found here.

    [Al Jazeera]

  • A bomb was diffused outside Al-Azhar University branch of the northern coastal city of Damietta, head of security told Al Jazeera.

    The bomb was homemade containing nails, sharp pellets, and attached to an electronic detonation device planted outside the gate of university. [Al Jazeera]

  • A big fire broke out at the faculties of Agriculture and Preaching in Al-Azhar University in Cairo, as clashes renewed between anti-coup students and security forces.

    Police stormed the campus firing tear gas and birdshot and rubber bullets at crowds gathering to protest the July 3 military-led ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. 

    Anti-coup students are staging daily protests, leading to deaths and arrests, as they defy a law passed by the government designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group. Many have also decided to boycott ongoing mid-year exams. [Al Jazeera]





  • An Al-Azhar University student supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood gestures during clashes with riot police and residents of the area in Cairo's Nasr City district on Saturday. [Reuters]


  • Elsewhere in Egypt, a series of explosions have been reported in El Arish, in the northern Sinai desert.

    Several rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) rounds were fired at a security building, resulting in no casualties.

    An exchange of gunfire was heard after that. The assailants reportedly escaped, but security forces have cordoned off the area and are conducting a search.

    [Al Jazeera]
  • A second student from Al-Azhar University has died after incurring gunshot wounds during anti-coup protests earlier today.

    A third student remains in critical condition, suffering from gunshot wounds to the head, and is in a hospital operating room now.

    [Al Jazeera]
  • Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the interim Egyptian government of being "politically driven" in its declaration of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation earlier this week.

    HRW said the military-backed government "appears to be aimed at expanding the crackdown on peaceful Brotherhood activities and imposing harsh sanctions on its supporters".

    The New York-based rights group urged the government to reverse the decision.

    “The government’s decision on the Muslim Brotherhood follows over five months of government efforts to vilify the group,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East and North Africa director.

    "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,” she said.

    [Al Jazeera]
  • Photos of clashes between anti-coup protesters and Egyptian security forces at Al Azhar University in Cairo earlier today. [ALL PHOTOS: REUTERS]



  • 15 students were arrested during clashes with Egyptian security forces at Zagazig University, on the Nile Delta, earlier today.

    Students organised the rally in protest of the arrest of their classmates, and demanded the students' release and to expel security forces from the campus.

    To watch a video from the protest before clashes began, click here.
  • The engineering faculty building at Alexandria University was evacuated after the authorities learned of a bomb threat on campus.

    The bomb was later found in an elevator and defused by the bomb squad. 

    Exams were temporarily postponed due to the incident.

    [Al Jazeera]

  •  

    At least one student was killed and 4 injured in clashes that erupted today at Cairo's Al-Azhar University after anti-coup protesters allegedly tried to impose a a boycott to final exam that have started.


    Read Al Jazeera's full report here.


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  • A student at Al-Azhar University got killed in Egypt campus clashes with security forces, medical sources told AFP.

    Sixty students have been arrested during Saturday's clashes for allegedly possessing Moltov cocktails, guns that fire birdshot bullets as well as dangerous advanced
    fireworks that were used to attack police.  [AFP and Al Jazeera]

    by Dee.K edited by Jillian Kestler-D'Amours 12/28/2013 11:32:01 AM


  • An image from local newspaper Sada el-Balad showing the School of Commerce's campus at Al-Azhar University set ablaze on Saturday during clashes between security forces and supporters of Mohamed Morsi, Islamist president ousted by the army on July 3.

    State television accused protesters of torching the building.

    Clashes between security forces and the anti-coup protesters took pace on Saturday as the students defied an anti terror that designation Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group.

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