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Egypt's War on Terrorism and Extremism

by Abdel Rahman Siddiq Hashim

Tahrir Square (Friday, September 20th)
Tahrir Square (Friday, September 20th)
Tourists at Tahrir Square (photo: Abdel Rahman Siddiq Hashim)
Tourists at Tahrir Square (photo: Abdel Rahman Siddiq Hashim)
The American University in Cairo (close to Tahrir Square) and the story of the revolution wall paintings
The American University in Cairo (close to Tahrir Square) and the story of the revolution wall paintings
The Mogama (governmnetal building at Tahrir Square) stands sad and quiet on the 20th of Friday, September 2013 (photo: Abdel Rahman Siddiq Hashim)
The Mogama (governmnetal building at Tahrir Square) stands sad and quiet on the 20th of Friday, September 2013 (photo: Abdel Rahman Siddiq Hashim)
Muslim Brotherhood Protests in Maadi, Friday September 20th
Muslim Brotherhood Protests in Maadi, Friday September 20th

 

On Friday the 20th of September, there were many anti-coup protests in Greater Cairo, Egypt, demanding the return of President Morsi to power. The Egyptian anti-riot police used tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters on Friday afternoon in Assuit city in South of Egypt. The Friday protests continued in Ain shams as well as in Nasr city and Maadi calling for the end of the coup and the return of the legitimate president Mohamed Morsi; as there were frequent clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents in Shubaraa El-khamia area in Cairo. Alexandria, as the second historical major coast city in Egypt, has witnessed an anti-coup protest led by women on Friday. 
 
Most of Cairo downtown streets and public squares were empty of people, especially Tahrir Square (as shown on the photo). The sad event that caught the attention of the Egyptian people was the public funeral, which was held on Friday in eastern Cairo for a senior police officer who was shot dead a day earlier when security forces stormed an Islamist stronghold on the outskirts of the capital.
 
Giza deputy security chief Nabil Farrag was killed and at least nine police officers injured when military and police forces stormed the town of Kerdasa on Thursday. The funeral in the Nasr City district saw a military parade that was attended by top government and army figures, including army chief General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi, as military helicopters hovered overhead. The crowd shouted anti-terrorism and pro-government slogans as they marched in the funeral.
 
Kerdasa had seen almost no security presence since a bloody attack in August by Islamist militants in a police station there, which left at least 11 policemen dead. The attack came in the immediate aftermath of a deadly police raid on two protest camps set up by loyalists of toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.
 
Egypt 's security forces on Friday pressed ahead with a clampdown operation to hunt down "terrorists" in Kerdasa as clashes abated after the police raid. At least 81 wanted men were arrested and dozens of arms were seized during the operation on Thursday morning, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.
 
Armored vehicles and troops are still out in force around and within the town, state television reported, and police have been combing the area door-to-door in search of dozens of suspects associated with the attack on the police station. Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood movement, have called for fresh nationwide demonstrations on Friday against the "military coup" that toppled Mohamed Morsi, Egypt 's first freely elected president.
 
There was limited street action in the capital on Friday afternoon, but street violence was reported outside Cairo as clashes broke out between Brotherhood sympathizers and Morsi's opponents in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Police fired teargas to disperse crowds who threw stones, leaving several injured, Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported.
 
Islamists have held regular protests since Morsi's ousting on the 3rd of July, but the numbers have sharply diminished in recent weeks amid a sustained clampdown by security forces targeting Islamists. The raid on Kerdasa was the second such security operation in recent days. Security forces on Monday regained control of another Islamist bastion in Delga village in the southern governorate of Minya, which was held by Islamist hardliners who had torched churches and terrorized Christian residents there for almost a month.
 
The army has also been battling militant insurrection in the Sinai Peninsula, which has seen an uptick following Morsi's exit. A bomb targeting a bus carrying soldiers was detonated early Friday in northern Sinai. Periodic attacks in the lawless Sinai Peninsula have heightened fears of a spread of militant violence in the country. 
 
 
NOTE: 
  • Part of the report was quoted from Alahram English newspaper issued on the 20th of Friday, September 2013. 
  • This article was produced in partnership with AlternativeMediaYYC.com and the Arusha Centre with the Calgary Working Group initiative to establish a new local of The Media Co-op in Calgary
  • The author of this article is a member of The Media Co-op, and the Calgary Working Group, and is participating in the project through our special local-to-foreign correspondence network.
 
 

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