Monday 19 February 2018

29 killed in Egypt on anniversary of Arab Spring

Magdy Samaan in Cairo

At least 29 people were killed in clashes in Egypt yesterday as the country marks the anniversary of the 2011 uprising which overthrew President Hosni Mubarak.

Three years on from an uprising that ostensibly unified the Egyptian people, deep divisions were on show.

While thousands rallied in the city's Tahrir Square to celebrate the anniversary and show support for Egypt's military-backed authorities, clashes broke out a few streets away between police and anti-government demonstrators.

The protests took place amid tight security, a day after an al-Qaeda affiliated militant group claimed responsibility for four separate bomb blasts in Cairo. In a statement, Ansar Bayt el Maqdis warned that the attacks were only the "first drops of rain".

Personnel carriers and barbed wire lined the edge of the square. Protesters carried memorabilia with the face of General Abdel Fattah el Sisi, who led the movement to remove Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi, last July.

"I'm here for Egypt, and especially for Sisi," said Kadry Abdelhamid, a government employee. "This is our revolution, and it was nearly stolen by the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. "

Egypt's interim authorities are involved in an aggressive campaign against supporters of Mr Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, and the secular activists widely viewed as the instigators of the original uprising.

Pro-government turnout appeared depressed in view of expectations. "Many people are afraid to come to the celebration because of the blasts," said one local man.

General Sisi is expected to announce his candidacy for the presidency within days.

© Telegraph

Irish Independent

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