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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Egypt’s capital was hit with four deadly blasts one day ahead of January 25 Anniversary

Site of the first explosion, police headquarters in Cairo
(Image: BBC)
Four separate bomb attacks hit Cairo on Friday, 24 January, just one day ahead of the third Anniversary of January 25 Revolution.

The first blast has taken place in Greater Cairo early in the morning, as the explosion ripped through the building of police headquarters in central Cairo. Four people were killed and at least 76 wounded as a result of the blast, according to the Ministry of Health of Egypt. The explosion has seriously damaged the façade of the police headquarters building and also the neighboring buildings. Museum of Islamic Art was also seriously damaged, especially its façade. Authorities of the Museum stated that some there is a mess inside of the Museum, and some items were also damaged. The building of the Historical Library and Archives, located nearby, was also damaged by the blast.

People gathering and protesting in front of the police headquarters
after the balst
(Image: Ahram Online)
Egypt’s Ministry of Interior reports the initial investigations have shown there was an explosive-laden vehicle used for an attack. The bomb was remotely detonated, and three attackers have escaped the site of explosion. The claims about suicide bomber and the rests of the bomber’s body on the site of an explosion have been denied by the Ministry. Later the video shot by the cameras of the Museum of Islamic Art, became available. This video has caught a car laden with explosives and the moment of the blast as well. The investigations are ongoing.

Hours later after the police blast the second explosion hit Giza district, as a primitive bomb was thrown at the moving vehicle. One person died and at least 11 were wounded as a result of a blast.

The third explosion took place in the police station of Talbiya district (Giza), close to the Pyramids. No casualties were reported.

Later in the evening the fourth blast hit Cinema Theater in Haram district (Giza), leaving one person killed and dozens of injured.
Map showing the blasts hit Cairo on Friday
(Image: BBC)

Huge crowds of people have gathered after the blasts on the site protesting against Muslim Brotherhood and chanting slogans demanding their execution. Muslim Brotherhood have been accused of an attack, though the group strongly denies its involvement and responsibility and expresses its condolences to the families of those killed in the attacks.

Egypt’s Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawy has stated that these terrorist attacks are trying to disrupt the achievements of Egyptian people gained during the Revolution, transitional process and through the transitional roadmap. Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has stated that such attacks will only unite Egyptians in their fight.

These blasts have taken place one day ahead of the Anniversary of January 25th Revolution, despite the unprecedented security measures taken by Egyptian interim government and Armed Forces on the eve of the symbolic historical date. Numerous additional troops and military vehicles have been deployed in Cairo and other Egyptian cities nationwide in order to secure Egyptians during the celebrations.  

Place of explosion
(Image: Reuters)
In addition to that, clashes erupted on Friday during Muslim Brotherhood marches taken place in many Egyptian cities. Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood’s and Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi supporters have been staging rallies on Friday chanting against police and army. Clashes erupted between Muslim Brotherhood loyalists and opponents and police. Police has intervened in order to disperse the crowds and was shooting teargas. The clashes resulted in at least 14 deaths and dozens injuries. At least 12 people were arrested by Egyptian police during the clashes.