25 января, 2014 Comments Off on Seven dead as Egypt marks revolution’s third anniversary

Seven dead as Egypt marks revolution’s third anniversary

_72523092_de27At least seven people have been killed in clashes in Egypt as the country marks the anniversary of the 2011 uprising which ended with the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

Rival demonstrations of supporters and opponents of the military-backed government took place in Cairo.But police broke up anti-government protests with tear gas, and arrests were reported in Cairo and Alexandria.Tensions rose on Friday amid violence which at least 18 people died.The government has said extra security measures are in place for Saturday.

Egyptian Interior Minister Muhammad Ibrahim urged Egyptians not to be afraid to go to events marking the anniversary of the uprising.

Thousands of supporters of the military and the government have gathered in high-profile locations including Tahrir Square - the focal point of the 18-day 2011 popular revolt.Participants waved Egyptian flags and banners showing army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whom many urged to run for president.But police dealt harshly with anti-government protesters in Cairo and elsewhere. At least seven people have died - four in the greater Cairo area, two in the southern city of Minya and a woman in Egypt's second city, Alexandria.Shortly before 06:00 GMT on Saturday, a bomb was thrown at the wall of the police training academy in the Cairo suburb of Ain Shams, reportedly injuring one person.Six people died in four bombings in Cairo on Friday, along with at least another dozen people killed in clashes with security forces.Meanwhile on Saturday, an army helicopter crashed in the restive Sinai peninsula, with an unconfirmed report that its crew of five soldiers was dead.A large car bomb exploded near a police building in Suez, at the southern entrance of the Suez canal, with reports that nine people were injured.Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on security forces in the region since Gen Sisi toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July, with hundreds killed. 
Supporters of Egypt's army and police gather at Tahrir Square in Cairo, on the third anniversary of Egypt's uprising on Saturday
Huge crowds turned out in Cairo's Tahrir Square - the focal point of the 2011 uprising - urged on by members of Egypt's military-backed government
An Egyptian man holds a poster and a mask depicting Egyptian army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with Arabic that reads, "complete your good deed," near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Saturday
Many held posters - such as this one - urging military chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to "complete his good deed" and run for president
ArrestsThe BBC's Yolande Knell, in Cairo, says that three years on from an uprising that raised hopes of political reform in the Arab world's most populated country, rival demonstrations are showing the deep divisions.There is an extreme anti-Islamist emphasis at pro-government rallies, with chants for "the execution of the Brotherhood" and fury at anyone believed to be critical of the post-coup leadership, reports said.At anti-government protests, police chase protesters into side streets, firing tear gas and birdshot - as well as live rounds, said Reuters news agency.
Hundreds of anti-military protesters, both supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and secular activists opposed to both camps, gather on the third anniversary of the country's 2011 uprising before security forces disperse them with teargas and birdshot, in Cairo's district of Mohandessin, Egypt, on Saturday
Opponents of the military regime - both Islamist and secular - attempted to gather but were dispersed by security services using tear gas, birdshot and - one report says - live rounds
A plainclothes security officer, holding a gun, detains a supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the Cairo neighbourhood of Nasr City, Egypt, on Saturday
Here, a plain-clothes security officer - holding a gun - detains a a supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the Cairo neighbourhood of Nasr City
Arrests have been made in Cairo and Egypt's second city, Alexandria - not just of Islamist supporters of deposed President Morsi, but secular opponents of the military government who have also been protesting."The only thing allowed is Sisi revolutionaries," one of the activists, blogger Wael Khalil, told the Associated Press news agency."This was supposed to be a day to mark the revolution... I don't get it. Do they think that there will be a working democracy this way?"Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste - detained by Egyptian authorities for nearly a month - has written a letter from solitary confinement, describing Egypt's prisons as "overflowing with anyone who opposes or challenges the government".

The Anti-Coup Alliance, led by Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, called in a statement for 18 days of protests beginning on Saturday, mirroring the 18 days of protests that three years ago led to Mr Mubarak stepping down.

The Brotherhood has regularly held protests since the overthrow of Mr Morsi. Hundreds of its supporters have been killed, and thousands detained.It has been declared a "terrorist organisation" and accused by the interim government of being behind a string of violent attacks in recent months, which the Brotherhood denies.In a defiant statement on Saturday, the Brotherhood vowed not to leave the streets "until it fully regains its rights and breaks the coup and puts the killers on trial", reported AP.

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