Cairo bomb attacks: Four killed and dozens wounded on eve of revolution rallies in Egypt

Blasts come a day before the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak

Alistair Beach
Friday 24 January 2014 07:53
Comments
A police officer inspects a crater made after a bomb attack in front of Cairo Security Directorate building
A police officer inspects a crater made after a bomb attack in front of Cairo Security Directorate building

Egyptians are bracing themselves for civil unrest tonight after Cairo was shaken by a series of explosions on the eve of third anniversary of the Tahrir Square uprising.

A suspected suicide bomber detonated a truck bomb outside the headquarters of Egypt’s security directorate, killing four people – including three policeman – and wounding dozens of others.

The bombing at around 6.30am was the first such successful attack in central Cairo since the popular coup which toppled Mohamed Morsi last summer. Hours later two smaller devices were detonated. One exploded outside a metro station in the west of the capital, killing a policeman and wounding nine others, according to Egypt’s Interior Ministry. The other, near a police station close to the Pyramids, caused no casualties. A fourth blast near a cinema killed one person.

Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim called the bombings a “vile terrorist act”.

In the afternoon clashes broke out between Mr Morsi’s supporters and the security services. There was further unrest elsewhere across Egypt, with at least three people killed during street battles.

An Egyptian policeman reacts as he walks through the aftermath of the explosion that struck the Cairo police headquarters this morning

With rallies planned today marking Egypt’s 2011 uprising, there are fears that the country could be on the verge of renewed violence.

This morning, hundreds of civilians gathered at the site of the first blast, many holding pictures of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief expected to run for the presidency. Some chanted: “The people want the execution of the Muslim Brotherhood.” One street-hawker sold posters of General Sisi dressed as a blood-stained butcher, his large carving knife poised delicately above a sheep with the head of Mohamed Morsi.

Following a referendum on the country’s new constitution earlier this month, the government has tried to portray Egypt as a country getting back on its feet. Yet the state has resorted to increasingly authoritarian behaviour. Leading secular activists have been detained and jailed, politicians have been charged with insulting the judiciary and journalists arrested and accused of being involved in terrorist activity.

An injured police officer is led from the damaged Cairo Security Directorate (Reuters

Many Egyptians, exhausted by the constant strife, appear willing to cede their government greater powers. But others are anxious.

“There is a widespread depression among all of those who believed in the revolution,” said Egyptian journalist Heba Afify. “This is not where we expected to be after three years.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in