Tag Archive: Hosni Mubarak


Egypt names Ibrahim Mahlab as new prime minister

Former housing minister and Mubarak party member pledges to ‘crush terrorism’ and crack down on rise in violence
Ibrahim Mahlab

Ibrahim Mahla, at a press conference in Cairo, said he hoped to form a government within the next three or four days. Photograph: EPA

A former member of Hosni Mubarak‘s political party has been appointed as Egypt‘s new prime minister, a day after the cabinet announced its shock resignation, vowing to crack down on the militant violence that has blighted Egypt since the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Ibrahim Mahlab spoke after his appointment by Adly Mansour – the army-appointed president who has been in office since Morsi’s removal in July – and said he hoped to form his government within three or four days.

“We will work together to restore security and safety to Egypt and crush terrorism in all corners of the country,” he said. “Security and stability in the entire country and crushing terrorism will pave the way for investment.”

Mahlab, who was housing minister in the previous administration, will head Egypt’s sixth government since the 2011 uprising that toppled the autocratic Mubarak, beginning yet another chapter in the chaotic post-Mubarak era.

Mahlab once belonged to Mubarak’s National Democratic party, and is the former CEO of Arab Contractors, one of the region’s largest construction firms.

He is expected to lead an interim government at least until the election of a new president – likely to be army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi – and perhaps even until the installation of a new parliament.

 

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Outgoing PM Hazem al-Beblawy says in televised speech that Egyptians must make sacrifices to help solve country’s problems

Hazem el-Beblawi

Egypt’s prime minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, announced the cabinet’s decision during a televised statement. Photograph: Reuters

Egypt is braced for its sixth government since the start of the 2011 uprising, after the prime minister announced the early resignation of the entire interim cabinet on Monday afternoon.

Hazem al-Beblawy, appointed in the days following the removal of Mohamed Morsi last July, was meant to head Egypt’s government until the election of a new president, but resigned on Monday after weeks of mounting criticism.

In a televised speech, Beblawy appeared to respond to the attacks by asking Egyptians to take more personal responsibility for solving the country’s ingrained economic and social challenges.

“It is time we all sacrificed for the good of the country. Rather than asking what has Egypt given us, we should instead be asking what we have done for Egypt,” Beblawy was quoted as saying in state-run media.

He said his government had “made every effort to get Egypt out of the narrow tunnel in terms of security, economic pressures and political confusion”.

Criticism of his government had peaked in recent weeks amid large strikes in industrial cities, and widespread electricity blackouts.

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Ex-Mubarak crony named to form new Egyptian government

Stepping down: Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi.Stepping down: Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi. Photo: AP

Cairo: The surprise announcement by Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi  that his seven-month-old government would resign just two months ahead of expected presidential elections seems destined to clear the way for a new cabinet led by politicians close to ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak.

The departing cabinet was the fifth government to rule Egypt in three years. The interim president, Adly Mansour, accepted Mr Beblawi’s resignation and named as his successor the housing minister, Ibrahim Mahlab, a former member of Mr Mubarak’s National Democratic Party who has business interests in Saudi Arabia and whom Mr Mubarak appointed to the legislature’s upper house, the Shura Council, in 2010.

Under Egyptian law, when the prime minister resigns, the rest of his cabinet resigns with him. But the announcement appeared to catch some of the ministers by surprise.

Saudi ties: Ibrahim Mahlab is expected to be named as Mr Beblawi's replacement.Saudi ties: Ibrahim Mahlab is expected to be named as Mr Beblawi’s replacement. Photo: Reuters

A government official told McClatchy that Mr Mahlab would return most ministers to their former posts in the next days but that there might be a shift in the cabinet’s overall composition. Where Mr Beblawi’s cabinet consisted of those tied to the Mubarak regime as well as newcomers since the 2011 uprising that removed Mr Mubarak from power, Mr Mahlab is expected to stack his cabinet with remnants of the old regime.

Analysts saw Mr Mahlab’s appointment as helping the expected presidential candidacy of Egypt’s de facto ruler, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Field Marshal Sisi was once Egypt’s defence attache in Saudi Arabia, his country’s largest financial benefactor.

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Rejects charges and urges Egyptians to continue ‘peaceful revolution’

    • Reuters
    • Published: 19:21 February 22, 2014
    • Gulf News


Image Credit: AP

Egypt’s ousted President Mohammad Mursi in a soundproof barred glass cage during a court hearing in a February 16 photo. AP

Cairo: Egypt’s deposed president Mohammad Mursi on Saturday rejected the right of a court to try him and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges related to a mass jail break in 2011, security and judicial sources said.

Mursi and his comrades, including the Brotherhood’s top leader Mohammad Badie, are charged with killing and kidnapping policemen, attacking police facilities and breaking out of jail during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

“As far as I’m concerned, these procedures are void and I don’t accept them,” Mursi said, describing himself as the president of the republic and calling on the Egyptian people to continue their “peaceful revolution,” according to the sources.

Some of the other roughly 130 defendants, who were held in a different courtroom cage from Mursi, applauded him and chanted “Down with military rule”. It is not unusual for high-profile defendants to be locked up in cages in Egyptian courts.

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Supporters of Mohamed Morsi, as well as activists opposed to authoritarianism of Morsi and General Sisi, took part in protests

Egypt protests

Mourners carry the coffin of a man killed during Saturday’s clashes between protesters and security forces in Cairo. Photograph: Ahmed Omar/AP

Standing in the forecourt of Cairo’s Zeinhom mortuary, waiting to pick up the corpse of his friend, Amr Hussein could scarcely believe he was there. “I thought we were done with this,” said Hussein, 23. “I thought the revolution would be the start of a new era.”

Hussein’s classmate, Mohamed Yehia, was shot dead by police on Saturday, the third anniversary of the Egyptian uprising – a day that was meant to be a celebration.

But for many it was instead one of protest and mourning, with officials confirming on Sunday that 49 people had been killed in nationwide protests against the regime installed last July by the army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Fierce clashes raged in several neighbourhoods across the country, with armoured police vehicles charging at protesters in downtown Cairo.

Supporters of Egypt‘s ousted Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, as well as activists opposed to the authoritarianism of both Morsi and Sisi, took part – and 1,079 people were arrested.

“This is not the Egypt that we are looking for,” said Ayman Abdelmeguid, a spokesman for the 6 April group, the secular youth movement that organised many of the first protests against Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Violence of a different kind continued on Sunday in the Sinai peninsular, where Islamist extremists ambushed and killed three policemen. It continued a militant surge against security forces that saw four bombs explode in Cairo on Friday, and an army helicopter allegedly shot down on Saturday.

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The New York Times

Clashes Kill 49 Egyptians on Uprising’s Anniversary

CAIRO — Thousands of Egyptians celebrated the third anniversary of their revolt against autocracy on Saturday by holding a rally for the military leader who ousted the country’s first democratically elected president. Elsewhere, at least 49 people died in clashes with security forces at rival antigovernment protests organized by Islamists and left-leaning activists.

In at least on-e case, the Islamists and liberals chanted against each other. But within as little as 15 minutes, riot police officers began firing tear-gas cannons and shooting guns into the air, swiftly dispersing the protests and leaving the day to the military leader, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi.

The violence escalated as the day went on. The Way of the Revolution Front, a group opposed to the Islamists as well as the military takeover, urged its supporters to retreat from the streets in the face of what it called “the excessive force that police are using against whoever tries to express their opinion.”

By Sunday morning, health officials said the death toll from clashes with the police had reached at least 49, most killed in the Cairo area. Security officials said more than 1,000 were arrested around the country. By Saturday night, more than 430 had been arrested in greater Cairo alone.

In the canal city of Suez, a car bomb at a police camp wounded four officers, officials said, the latest in a campaign of attacks on security forces since the military takeover. The violence on Saturday came a day after four bombings around the capital killed at least six people and clashes with the police killed another eight. But the government appeared determined to prevent any of the protests or deaths from dimming the spectacle of the rally for General Sisi, or the momentum of his presumed presidential campaign.

The enthusiasm of his supporters, however, also hinted at some of the outsize expectations he might face in office.

Hassan Shehab, 52, a shopkeeper carrying a poster of a son killed by security forces during the 2011 uprising, said he believed General Sisi would “turn Egypt from a third-world country to a first-world country” while bringing justice for the revolution’s “martyrs.”

“He will hold the police accountable and put them on trial, as soon as they get rid of the terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Mr. Shehab said.

The Brotherhood, an eight-decades-old Islamist organization, sponsored the most successful party in Egypt’s free elections in 2011 and 2012. Its candidate, Mohamed Morsi, became president and held that position until he was ousted by the military in July amid swelling street protests against him.

The military has been portraying the Brotherhood as a terrorist threat ever since. On Friday, government officials quickly blamed it for the day’s four bombings.

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Egypt Court Bans All Muslim Brotherhood Activities

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi form silhouettes during a protest against the military and interior ministry near the El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo September 20, 2013. Egyptian security forces were hunting for armed supporters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood on Friday after retaking control of a town near Cairo in a crackdown on Islamists. (Reuters Photo)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi form silhouettes during a protest against the military and interior ministry near the El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo September 20, 2013. Egyptian security forces were hunting for armed supporters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood on Friday after retaking control of a town near Cairo in a crackdown on Islamists. (Reuters Photo)

Cairo. An Egyptian court on Monday banned the Muslim Brotherhood from operating and ordered its assets seized, in the latest blow to the Islamist movement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

The court also banned “any institution branching out from or belonging to the Brotherhood,” the official MENA news agency reported, possibly restricting the movement’s political arm the Freedom and Justice Party.

The ruling ratchets up an intensifying crackdown on the Brotherhood since the army’s July 3 overthrow of Morsi.

Last month, security forces stormed two Cairo protest camps, sparking clashes in which hundreds of Islamist demonstrators were killed.

The operation drew criticism of the military-installed interim authorities from foreign governments and human rights groups.

A judicial source told AFP the court ruled that a government committee should be created to manage the Brotherhood’s seized assets.

The Cairo court “ruled to ban all activities by the Muslim Brotherhood organization, the group emanating from it and its non-governmental organization,” MENA reported.

The ruling may be appealed and overturned by a higher court.

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Saudi Gazette

Egypt bans Brotherhood

Court orders assets frozen

CAIRO — An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the Muslim Brotherhood to be banned and its assets confiscated in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-backed government against supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The ruling opens the door for a wider crackdown on the vast network of the Brotherhood, which includes social organizations that have been key for building the group’s grassroots support and helping its election victories. The verdict banned the group itself — including the official association it registered under earlier this year — as well as “any institution branching out of it or … receiving financial support from it,” according to the court ruling, made public on Egypt’s state official news agency MENA.

The judge at the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters also ordered the “confiscation of all the group’s money, assets, and buildings” and said that an independent committee should be formed by the Cabinet to manage the money until final court orders are issued. The verdict can be appealed.

The Brotherhood was outlawed for most of its 85 years in existence. But after the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, it was allowed to work openly, formed a political party and rose to power in a string of post-Mubarak elections. In March, it registered as a recognized non-governmental organization.

In the past three years, the movement set up headquarters in a multi-story building in Cairo and opened offices across the country for its Freedom and Justice Party.

All these buildings are likely to be seized under the court order, which can also if upheld criminalize membership with the movement.

“This is totalitarian decision,” leading group member Ibrahim Moneir said in an interview with Qatari-based Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr TV. “You are losers and it (the Brotherhood) will remain with God’s help, not by the orders by the judiciary of El-Sissi,” he added, referring to military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi, who led the overthrow of Morsi on July 3.

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Former president’s transfer to hospital greeted by jubilation, indifference and fear that it is another sign of resurgent old order

After more than two years in jail, Egypt‘s ousted former president Hosni Mubarak is under house arrest in a Cairo military hospital, having been flown by helicopter from prison. His lawyer said this hospital would be the last step on the 85-year-old’s road to being freed.

Emerging on to the roof of the prison building carried on a trolley stretcher, casually dressed in white trousers, a shirt and loafers, the former dictator flashed a smile in the direction of assembled supporters.

Mubarak, who ruled for 30 years, still faces retrial on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the 25 January revolution. But the dramatic events of the past week – during which he has been transformed from a villain of the state to a man about to win his freedom – has raised doubts over whether the new martial leadership has the will to pursue the case against him.

The final say on where Mubarak will go rests with Hazem el-Beblawi, the prime minister in the military-backed interim government.

Critics fear his release is a sign that the military is reinventing an old order which has regained prominence since elected president and former Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi was removed from power on in a military coup backed by popular will seven weeks ago. In a matter of weeks, Egypt has seen the return of the old order’s state security and police forces to streets.

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Mubarak could leave prison Thursday after Egypt court orders his release

Prosecutor says no appeal will be made against decision to release deposed Egyptian president; the court had dropped two cases against Mubarak earlier this week; Mubarak to be released to house arrest.

By Reuters | Aug. 21, 2013 | 11:10 PM | 1

Egypt's ex-president Hosni Mubarak lays on a gurney inside a barred cage.

Egypt’s ex-president Hosni Mubarak laying on a gurney inside a barred cage in the police academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt, June 2, 2012. Photo by AP

Deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak could leave prison as early as Thursday after a court ruling that jolted a divided nation already in turmoil seven weeks after the army toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, but he will be released to house arrest.

Convening on Wednesday at the Cairo prison where Mubarak is held, the court upheld a petition from his lawyer demanding the release of the man who ruled Egypt for 30 years until he was overthrown during the uprisings that swept the Arab world in early 2011.

Judicial and security sources said the court had ordered Mubarak’s release. His lawyer, Fareed al-Deeb, confirmed this as he left Tora prison after the session. Asked when Mubarak would go free, he told Reuters: “Maybe tomorrow.”

The prime minister’s office said that Mubarak would be placed under house arrest. “In the context of the emergency law, the deputy military commander issued an order that Mohamed Hosni Mubarak should be put under house arrest,” read a statement from the office.

The prosecutor overseeing the case said on Wednesday that Egypt’s prosecutor will not appeal against the ruling ordering Mubarak’s release. “The decision to release Mubarak issued today … is final and the prosecution cannot appeal against it,” Judge Ahmed el-Bahrawi said.

Mubarak, 85, was sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to prevent the killing of demonstrators. But a court accepted his appeal earlier this year and ordered a retrial.

The ailing former president probably has no political future. But many Egyptians would see his release as the rehabilitation of an old order that endured through six decades of military-backed rule – and even a reversal of the pro-democracy revolt that toppled him.

At least 900 people, including 100 soldiers and police, have been killed in a crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in the past week, making it Egypt’s bloodiest civil episode in decades.

The United States and the European Union are both reviewing aid to Cairo in light of the bloodshed, but Saudi Arabia, a foe of the Brotherhood, has promised to make up any shortfall.

Mubarak is still being retried on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the revolt against him, but he has already served the maximum pre-trial detention in that case.

The court ruling removed the last legal ground for his imprisonment in connection with a corruption case, following a similar decision in another corruption case on Monday.

Mubarak’s release might stir more turbulence in Egypt, where the army ousted Morsi, the country’s first freely elected leader, on July 3, saying it was responding to the will of the people following vast protests demanding his removal.

The generals have installed an interim administration to oversee a roadmap they say will lead Egypt to back to democracy.

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Court Orders Mubarak Release as Islamist Leaders Arrested

Egypt’s longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak moved closer to possible freedom after a court ordered him released from prison, a move that would aggravate frictions in a nation reeling from the toppling of his elected successor.

While Mubarak is unlikely to find a place in the country’s new political order, his release would inject more tension into the violent standoff between the Muslim Brotherhood and the government the military installed after deposing Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last month. Freedom for Mubarak would also provide ammunition to those who accuse Egypt’s new leaders of seeking to restore the kind of police state Mubarak led before he was overthrown in 2011 in a popular revolt.

The military “promised the the clock wouldn’t be turned back, yet it’s 2010 all over again. Mursi is in jail and Mubarak is free,” read a posting yesterday on the Twitter account of the main alliance backing Mursi, after the court ruled.

Egypt’s cabinet said in a note to reporters that Mubarak was ordered to be held under house arrest. It was not immediately clear whether he had been released.

It was the second time this week that a court had ordered authorities to free the 85-year-old Mubarak, who has been in custody in connection with various cases since he was ousted. This time, the court said he could be freed in a case accusing him of accepting gifts from a state-run group. It was not clear whether he could be kept in custody on other charges.

The orders to free Mubarak do not stop pending trials on other charges against him, including his alleged role in the deaths of protesters in the uprising that swept him from power. He is facing a retrial in that case after a court overturned an earlier life sentence against him.

Hopes Raised

Mubarak’s ouster had fed hopes in some quarters that Egypt would emerge from his three decades of autocratic a more prosperous and democratic nation. During Mursi’s year in office, divisions widened as the country slipped deeper into poverty, with critics accusing him of cementing the power of his Brotherhood backers at the expense of the nation’s welfare.

Days of mass demonstrations against him, reminiscent of the protests against Mubarak, culminated in Mursi’s removal. His Brotherhood supporters have refused to accept that, and the nation has been mired since in a whorl of violence that claimed about 1,000 lives in the past week alone.

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Muslim Brotherhood Leader Arrested as Death Toll Mounts

The spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was arrested in Cairo as the military-backed government pressed a crackdown on Islamists that has claimed hundreds of lives in the past week.

Mohammed Badie, who faces charges of inciting murder, was taken into custody yesterday in a Cairo apartment where he had been instructing supporters protesting President Mohamed Mursi’s July 3 removal by the military, Public Security Department official Yasser Abdel-Rauf said. About 900 civilians and 100 police officers have died since the operation to break up two pro-Mursi sit-ins began last week.

Mursi’s ouster has sparked almost-daily protests by his backers that frequently boiled over into deadly clashes. The tumult has made it more difficult for Egypt to emerge from the slowdown that has battered the economy since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Badie faces a trial later this month in connection with deaths of protesters when Mursi was still in power.

Badie’s arrest “is another blow to the Brotherhood that is designed to weaken them, but definitely it will stir up a response from the Brotherhood,” Ziad Akl, senior researcher at the Cairo-based Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said by phone.

Badie has been detained for 15 days pending an investigation, according to a statement from prosecutors.

The Brotherhood vowed in an e-mailed statement that “the arrest of the Supreme Guide won’t weaken the Brotherhood.” The group and its supporters in the National Coalition for Legitimacy called in a statement for a continuation and expansion of daily protests.

El Beblawi’s Comments

Interim Prime Minister Hazem El Beblawi said that he doesn’t expect the conflict to lead to a civil war.

“I do not exclude that we will have some continuous problems in the coming weeks, perhaps coming months,” El Beblawai said in an interview with ABC News. “But civil war and the type we have seen in some neighbors, I don’t think that Egypt is on this path.”

The yield on Egypt’s 5.75 percent dollar bond due April 2020 rose 25 basis points, or 0.25 percentage point, to 9.42 percent yesterday in Cairo, the highest on a closing basis since July 3, the day the army forced Mursi out of office, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The EGX 30 index of stocks rose 1.1 percent, snapping a three-day decline.

Amending Constitution

After announcing Mursi’s ouster on July 3, Defense Minister Abdelfatah al-Seesi said the constitution endorsed under the Islamist’s administration would be amended. Yesterday, the presidency announced in an e-mailed statement that the first phase of that project had been completed.

A technical committee has submitted proposals including a mixed presidential and parliamentary system, the state-run Ahram website reported. A second committee must approve any proposals within 60 days of receiving the draft, according to the interim government’s blueprint for transition to elected rule.

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Sundrumify

Published on Aug 19, 2013

Further videos about topics addressed are available in Recent Activities, Play Lists, Favourites on my channels and complementary video responses. Mirrored and published with the permission of: http://www.democracynow.org – Mass violence continues in Egypt amidst the bloodiest period in the country’s modern history. Around 900 people have been killed since state forces attacked Muslim Brotherhood protest encampments five days ago. At least 173 people were killed in a “Day of Rage” protest called by the Brotherhood on Friday followed by at least 79 deaths on Saturday. Around 90 police officers and soldiers have died in the violence but Islamist supporters of the Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Morsi account for the bulk of the victims. On Sunday, at least 36 prisoners were killed in Cairo after guards said they tried to escape while being transferred. But the Muslim Brotherhood accused state forces of a “cold-blooded killing” and demanded an international probe. And earlier today at least 24 police officers were reportedly killed in the northern Sinai after coming under attack by militants. “New horrors are brought every day, nightmarish scenes that Egyptians could never have imagined,” Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous reports from Cairo. “It’s not a Cairo that many people recognize. With both sides vowing to escalate, worse days surely lie ahead.”

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U.S. questions Egypt prisoner deaths, Mubarak may be freed

Mon, Aug 19 2013
Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak sits inside a dock at the police academy on the outskirts of Cairo, in this file picture taken April 15, 2013. REUTERS-Stringer-Files

CAIRO | Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:44am BST

(Reuters) – An Egyptian court ruling has raised the prospect of freedom for deposed military strongman Hosni Mubarak, while the United States questioned Egypt’s account of the deaths of dozens of Islamist detainees and called the incident “suspicious.”

Six weeks after the armed forces toppled President Mohamed Mursi and about a week after hundreds died when security forces broke up protests by his Muslim Brotherhood, the United States said on Monday it was still reviewing whether to freeze any of the $1.55 billion (990.35 million pounds) it gives Egypt in mainly military annual aid.

The United States has been a close ally of Egypt, the biggest nation in the Arab world, since it made peace with Israel in 1979.

The 85-year-old Mubarak, arrested after his overthrow in 2011, can no longer be held on a corruption charge, a court ruled on Monday in a decision his lawyer said removed one of the last obstacles to his release on bail. The ruling coincided with another decision from the public prosecutor to press new charges against Mursi of inciting violence.

Fareed el-Deeb, Mubarak’s lawyer, told Reuters: “All we have left is a simple administrative procedure that should take no more than 48 hours. He should be freed by the end of the week.”

A judicial source, without confirming that Mubarak would be released, said Mubarak would spend at least two more weeks behind bars before the criminal court can make a final decision in another corruption case against him.

The killing of 25 Egyptian policemen in the Sinai near the desert border with Israel on Monday was blamed by the new, military-installed government on Islamist militants. State television carried emotional demands for retribution against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The policemen were on their way to their barracks in Rafah when militants attacked them with machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades, according to security sources. Egyptian state television reported that the presidency announced three days of mourning for the “martyrs of Rafah.”

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Egypt braced for more violence

  • Reuters
  • Published: 08:49 August 16, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP

Egyptian army soldiers take their positions on top and next to their armoured vehicles while guarding an entrance to Tahrir square, in Cairo, Egypt.

Cairo: Deeply polarised Egypt braced for renewed confrontation on Friday after the Muslim Brotherhood called for a nationwide march of millions to show anger at a ferocious security crackdown on Islamists in which hundreds were killed.

Defying criticism from major Western allies, Egypt’s army-backed government warned it would turn its guns on anyone who attacked the police or public institutions after protesters torched a government building in Cairo on Thursday.

At least 638 people died and thousands were wounded on Wednesday when police cleared out two protest camps in Cairo set up to denounce the military overthrow on July 3 of Egypt’s first freely elected president, Islamist leader Mohammad Mursi.

It was the third mass killing of Mursi supporters since he was ousted. The assault left his Muslim Brotherhood in disarray, but they warned they would not retreat in their showdown with army commander General Abdul Fattah Al Sisi.

“After the blows and arrests and killings that we are facing, emotions are too high to be guided by anyone,” said Brotherhood spokesman Gehad Al Haddad.

A statement from the Brotherhood called for a nationwide “march of anger” by millions of supporters on Friday after noon prayers.

More Pictures
Smoke rises as a tent burns at one of the two sites of the sit-in by the Egyptians supporting ousted president Morsi (depicted in poster), at Nahda square near Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, 14 August 2013. According to local media reports, one soldier and dozens of protesters were killed and about 200 others arrested as Egyptian security forces began clearing Islamist protest camps in the capital Cairo on 14 August. The military-backed government described the protest camps as violent and unlawful. The biggest sit-ins are in north-eastern Cairo and south of the capital.

Egypt protest camp violence in pictures

“Despite the pain and sorrow over the loss of our martyrs, the latest coup makers’ crime has increased our determination to end them,” it said.

The Brotherhood accuses the military of staging a coup when it ousted Mursi. Liberal and youth activists who backed the military saw the move as a positive response to public demands.

Friday prayers have proved a fertile time for protests during more than two years of unrest across the Arab world.

In calling for a “Friday of anger,” the Brotherhood used the same name as that given to the most violent day of the 2011 uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak. That day, January 28, 2011, marked the protesters’ victory over the police, who were forced to retreat while the army was asked to step in.

In a counter move, a loose liberal and leftist coalition, the National Salvation Front, called on Egyptians to protest on Friday against what it said was “obvious terrorism actions” conducted by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Signalling his displeasure at the worst bloodshed in Egypt for generations, US President Barack Obama said on Thursday normal cooperation with Cairo could not continue and announced the cancellation of military exercises with Egypt next month.

 

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Egyptian security forces arrest supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi at Nahda Square in Cairo.
Egyptian security forces arrest supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi at Nahda Square in Cairo. Photograph: Rex/Engy Emad

 

White House ‘watching’ as state of emergency called and Mohamed ElBaradei resigns in protest against killings

The United States has led a chorus of international concern about Egypt‘s crackdown on demonstrators, publicly condemning the violence that resulted in the worst loss of life on a single day since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi last month.

The White House said “the world is watching” after a day on which at least 278 people were killed. But there was still no sign that the US was prepared to characterise Morsi’s removal by the army as a coup – which would trigger an automatic congressional ban on $1.3bn in annual aid to the powerful Egyptian military.

“The violence will only make it more difficult to move Egypt forward on a path to lasting stability and democracy and runs directly counter to the pledges by the interim government to pursue reconciliation,” said spokesman Josh Earnest.

Cairo-camps-WEB

Lasting stability appeared further away than ever on Wednesday evening after the military declared a month-long state of emergency and the liberal Mohamed ElBaradei resigned as vice-president in the military-backed interim government.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy called on “all Egyptian people” to take to the streets “to stop the massacre” after police attacked its two sit-ins in Cairo’s Nahda and Rabaa al-Adawiya squares early on Wednesday.

The alliance is an Islamist grouping led by the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been demanding Morsi’s reinstatement as president since he was ousted by the army. Morsi supporters called for further nationwide protests.

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Hundreds dead as Egypt witnesses day of bloody violence

Egypt appears to stands on the brink of civil war after the country witnessed its bloodiest day since Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in 2011. Ruth Sherlock reports from Cairo.

By Ruth Sherlock and Gregg Morgan

10:53PM BST 14 Aug 2013

Riot police backed by armoured vehicles, bulldozers and helicopters swept away two encampments of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, setting off running street battles in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. At least 278 people were killed nationwide, many of them in the crackdown on the protest sites.

Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-reform leader in the interim government, resigned in protest over the assaults as the military-backed leadership imposed a monthlong state of emergency and night-time curfew.

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