Article

October 7th, 2013

New Clashes Kill Dozens in Egypt

New deadly clashes have swept across Egypt killing dozens of protesters, civilians and soldiers. More than 50 people were killed Sunday, Oct. 6 as Egyptians celebrated the 40 anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli.

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The violence started when Cairo police and armed citizens used tear gas and gunfire to prevent Islamist protesters from joining the war anniversary celebration in Tahrir Square. Officials estimate that over 250 people were injured in the clashes.

On Monday, a drive-by shooting by masked gunmen killed six soldiers near the city of Ismailiya, and a car bomb killed three police officers in southern Sinai.

The attacks happened only days after Egypt marked three months since a military coup ousted President Mohamed Morsi from power. Morsi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that has since been banned within Egypt. He was elected president in Egypt’s first democratic election last year. His supporters and members of the Brotherhood continue to protest.

During a recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Egypt’s foreign minister Nabil Fahmy said there would be new elections and a new government “by next spring.”

“Work is under way, in line with the roadmap, on several tracks. It has so far succeeded in establishing the principles of justice, freedom and democracy, as a basis for governance,” he said. “This will be followed by parliamentary elections, then presidential elections, so that the transitional phase ends by next spring.”

However, critics of the Egyptian military say that until the country learns to live with dissident groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, it is not ready for democracy.

Egyptian security forces use tear gas to disperse pro-democracy activists during protests marking the anniversary of the 1973 victory over the Israeli army at Ramses Square on October 6, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.

Egyptian security forces use tear gas to disperse pro-democracy activists during protests marking the anniversary of the 1973 victory over the Israeli army at Ramses Square on October 6, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.

“By stepping in to remove an unpopular president, the Egyptian Army reaffirmed a despotic tradition in the Middle East: Army officers decide what the country needs, and they always know best,” wrote Khaled M. Abou El Fadl in a New York Times op-ed.

Egypt’s military has increased its forces around the country, in what it calls a counter-terrorist campaign. Until the attacks stop, Egypt will continue to emphasize security.

“We are determined to fully implement the roadmap [to transition to a new government],” said Fahmy. “This requires us to give the utmost priority to the preservation of security and the enforcement of the law, and to counter any intimidation attempts aiming at hindering our efforts.”

For more info on Egypt and classroom questions, see “Egyptian Military Cracks Down on Morsi Supporters.”

– Compiled by Allison McCartney for NewsHour Extra

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