January 2014 – EGYPT – At least 49 people were killed and 247 wounded in violence marking the third anniversary of the January 25 revolution that brought down longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian state media said. Dozens more people were wounded in clashes throughout the country between anti-government protesters and security forces. The casualty figures came from the Ministry of Health, the state media said. The Anti-Coup Alliance, which supports deposed President Mohamed Morsy, claimed nine people were dead in one neighborhood alone after fierce confrontations. Those deaths were in the Alfa Maskan neighborhood in East Cairo, the alliance said. Meanwhile, pro-Morsy protesters have been issuing warnings on social media against using public ambulances. That could complicate tallying a death toll because the health ministry reports only deaths in public hospitals. East Cairo residents reported intense violence. “There has been ongoing gunfire for more than three hours,” Karim Ennarah, who lives near to the fighting, told CNN. He reported hearing automatic and semi-automatic gunfire. “It’s like a war.” The neighborhood is part of the Ain Shams area, where a bomb caused at least one reported injury. The neighborhood is also known for its strong Islamist presence and has featured numerous anti-coup protests and clashes throughout the past months. The health ministry reported two people were killed in the southern province of Minya, one in Cairo and one in Giza, state media said. Four people were wounded when unknown gunmen attacked a security camp in Suez with a rocket-propelled grendade, state media are reporting, quoting security officials.
Another was wounded in an explosion in the Cairo suburb of Ain Shams, Egyptian state news outlet Al Ahram online said Saturday. In the Sinai, a military helicopter crashed and a search is ongoing for its crew, the country’s state news agency, EgyNews, said Saturday, citing a military spokesman. There were no immediate details available about the cause of the crash. The Sinai region, which has a strong presence of militants, has been plagued by sporadic violence. Demonstrators filled the streets amid the instability ushered in by the military’s overthrow last year of the democratically elected Morsy, and the ensuing crackdown by security forces on the Islamist movement that supported him, the Muslim Brotherhood. Police dispersed a march that retraced the route protesters took to Tahrir Square three years ago. They fired tear gas and bird shots at protesters as soon as they started moving from the meeting point at Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque in Giza, activist Wael Khalil said. A small number of protesters regrouped outside the Press Syndicate, marking a similar protest in the same spot three years ago. “We were also small in number back then, but our number got bigger,” said a protester Om Ali who came with her teenage daughter and son. They chanted against the military government and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Revolutionary Front, a pro-democracy coalition critical of the Muslim Brotherhood and the government, called for all its members and participants to withdraw from demonstrations, citing police violence. “Excessive use of force by the police today at the anniversary of the revolution against anyone who attempts to express their opinion is considered a major crime added to the list of crimes by the current authorities,” the Front said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page. “At the same time, the authorities protect their supporters in Tahrir Square in which the martyrs’ blood had been shed.” –CNN