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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Egypt: The third anniversary of January 25 Revolution amid violent clashes

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians celebrate January 25
Revolution Anniversary in Tahrir Square
(Image: Times of Israel)
Egypt marked on Saturday, 25 January, the third anniversary of January 25 Revolution, one of the most important events in Egyptian modern history, when 18-days long Egyptian uprising toppled long time President Hosni Mubarak, who was in power 29 years. Egypt has experienced a lot since the Revolution and stepping down of Hosni Mubarak, and hard transitional period is ongoing, with many changes faced by the country and another President, Mohamed Morsi, facing currently trial as well.

Egypt was hit by a wave of violent terrorist attacks during the latest months, with numerous attacks against soldiers and policemen in Sinai Peninsula and recent blasts hit Egyptian cities: Mansoura, Cairo, Suez. Four blasts took place in Cairo just one day ahead of the Revolution’s anniversary, leaving 6 people dead and dozens of wounded.

Security measures were really unprecedented on the eve of the Revolution’s anniversary, as many additional troops and military vehicles have been deployed to Cairo and other Egyptian cities nationwide in order to secure the people during the celebration and guarantee safety. 

Mass celebrations of January 25 Revolution anniversary in Cairo
(Image: Al-Jazeera America)
Tanks have been blocking some roads leading to the iconic Tahrir Square in attempt to prevent possible clashes, as supporters of Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Morsi remain defiant and continue their rallies against current interim government and Armed Forces and in support of Mohamed Morsi.

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians flocked to Cairo’s Tahrir Square and to the main Squares in other cities across Egypt to celebrate the third anniversary of January 25 Revolution. The moods were really positive and celebratory, the spirits high, as people have been chanting for the Armed Forces and Head of Egypt’s Military Abdel Fattah El-Sissi and chanted for the Revolution. People also are positive over the recent Constitutional Referendum and expect real changes in the future.

Though despite the celebratory and positive atmosphere violent clashes, erupted across the country on the day of anniversary, have indicated that the situation in the country remains unstable. Several separate rallies have been held in Cairo and other Egyptian cities nationwide, and clashes between the protesters and police have left at least 29 people dead and hundreds of wounded, according to the information of Egyptian Ministry of Health.

Clashes arupted during the third anniversary of the Revolution
(Image: CNN)
Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed Morsi have staged their demonstration in Cairo downtown and in other cities across the country including Alexandria, Suez, Upper Egypt. They’ve been chanting against the army and Head of the Armed Forces and against the interim government, claiming all the recent decisions taken in the frameworks of the military imposed roadmap are illegitimate. They have been chanting for the ousted President Mohamed Morsi demanding his reinstatement. Police has intervened and shot teargas and birdshots to disperse the crowds. Sporadic gunfire and clashes have erupted in many cities of Egypt.

Several hundred meters from Tahrir Square police has also dispersed another protest, chanting both against the military and Muslim Brotherhood and accusing the both forces of instability in Egypt.

Clashes during the day of celebration
(Image: The daily news of Egypt)
In the late afternoon clashes erupted also during the march of the secular anti-military and anti-Brotherhood coalition the Way of the Revolution Front. Representatives of April 6th Movement have also participated in the demonstrations. Demonstration has been held also in front of the building of the press syndicate in Cairo, and then the groups have continued their movement to the Tahrir Square, but they were stopped by security forces close to Talaat Harb Square, located several hundred meters from Tahrir.

All the protests against Muslim Brotherhood and Armed Forces have been dispersed by security forces, as police have been firing teargas and birdshots. Clashes also erupted between the supporters and opponents of General Abdel Fattah El-Sissi.

Thus, the third anniversary of January 25 Revolution appeared to be violent, as both pro-Morsi and pro-Muslim Brotherhood protests and secular rallies against the Brotherhood and Army have been violently disperse by the security forces, leaving 29 people dead across the country.

In addition to that car bomb has exploded at Suez police camp, leaving several injured.