Brotherhood fails to show street power
Cairo, August 24, 2013
Mass protests called by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood mostly failed to materialise on Friday as the movement reels from a bloody army crackdown on followers of ousted President Mohamed Mursi.
Troops and police had taken relatively low-key security measures before the "Friday of Martyrs" processions that were to have begun from 28 mosques in the capital after weekly prayers.
But midday prayers were cancelled at some mosques and few major protests unfolded in Cairo, although witnesses said at least 1,000 people staged a march in the Mohandiseen district.
There were no reports of violence in that procession, but the Brotherhood's website said one person had been killed in the Nile Delta town of Tanta in clashes with security forces. The Interior Ministry confirmed the death.
Brotherhood supporters also turned out in Alexandria, several Delta towns, the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, the north Sinai town of Rafah, and Assiut in the south, with minor skirmishes reported in some places.
The Health Ministry said 54 people had been wounded on Friday in Cairo and two Delta provinces, without giving any details of the violence or who was injured.
"We are not afraid; it's victory or death," said Mohamed Abdel Azim, a retired oil engineer who was among about 100 people marching slowly from a mosque near Cairo University.
"They intend to strike at Muslims," the grey-bearded Azim said. "We'd rather die in dignity than live in oppression. We'll keep coming out until there's no one left."
Despite his defiant words, the mood of the protesters seemed subdued, perhaps a sign that the crackdown and the round-up of Brotherhood leaders has chilled the rank-and-file.
Some marchers carried posters of Mursi, who was toppled by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on July 3 after huge demonstrations against his rule. "No to the coup," they chanted.
A militant Islamist group active in the lawless Sinai Peninsula threatened new attacks on the army and police. In a statement published on a jihadist website, the Salafi Jihadi group condemned security forces for what it called the "heinous crime" of killing Brotherhood supporters.
It was the first statement from any of the militant groups in the Sinai desert bordering Israel since last Wednesday's violent move by security forces on the Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo.
The number of attacks on security forces in Sinai has jumped since the army removed Mursi. Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 24 policemen on Monday. – Reuters
More Government & Laws Stories
- GCC airlines defend female cabin crew policies
- Saudi names Brotherhood as terrorist group
- Qatar outraged over terror claims
- Bahrain PM condemns exploitation of children
- Qatar will not alter foreign policy: source
- Bahrain accuses Iran of fomenting trouble
- 'Put security before rights' in Bahrain: publisher
- 'Hizbollah trained Daih blast suspect'
- Key terror blast suspects named in Bahrain
- $2.6m Royal Fund for martyrs set up
- Bahrain to draw up new anti-terror laws
- GCC ROW: Qatar voices surprise over envoys pull out
- GCC tobacco tax rise ‘will fuel illicit trade’
- Saudi, UAE, Bahrain withdraw envoys from Qatar
- Bahrain explosion draws global condemnation
- GDN photographer hurt in blast is discharged
- Iran playing increasing role in Bahrain unrest
- Bahrain launches 6-point plan to fight terror
- Sisi gives sign he will run for president
- New Saudi clamp on energy drinks
- Health insurance must for Saudi visa
- Qatari doctor gets 7 years jail in UAE
- Family violence law articles approved in Bahrain
- Credit card thief jailed in Bahrain
- GDN photographer hurt in Bahrain explosion
- Bahrain King orders crackdown on terrorists
- Bahrain's 4-year development plan on track
- Bahrain authorities warn of rogue labour camps
- Experts draw 'startling comparisons' in explosives
- Bahrain reforms 'far exceed recommendations'