Skip to main content

At least 49 dead in Egypt as throngs commemorate revolution

By Yousuf Basil. Jethro Mullen and Michael Martinez, CNN
January 26, 2014 -- Updated 0802 GMT (1602 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dozens more are injured in violence throughout the country, state media says
  • Pro-Morsy groups says nine people are killed in one neighborhood alone
  • Military helicopter crashes in Sinai
  • Group claims responsibility for Friday's Cairo bombings

(CNN) -- 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.

Deadly bombs push Egypt to crisis's edge
Security cam catches explosion in Cairo

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.

A day of demonstrations

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."

The iconic square was filled with banners featuring the picture of army chief and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, with citizens gathering signatures urging him to run for president. A police march band played to the crowds as military helicopters hovered above it.

El-Sisi said recently that he would run for president if the Egyptian people wanted him to, state media reported.

Claim of responsibility for Friday blasts

A terrorist group claimed responsibility Saturday for four blasts that killed at least six people in and around Cairo on Friday.

The organization Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which the United States has designated a terrorist group, said in a statement that it was targeting Cairo's security headquarters and security forces.

A powerful explosion hit the capital's police headquarters, killing at least four people and wounding more than 50 others, Egyptian authorities said. The blast struck a key symbol of authority in a country that has been shaken by political turmoil and violent unrest in recent years.

It was followed by two smaller explosions near police stations in the Cairo area, one of which killed one person. And later, a fourth explosion outside a movie theater in Giza city, near Cairo, killed one person and injured seven others, state television said.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has been blamed for carrying out attacks in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula as well as on a security forces headquarters in the town of Mansoura last year.

Islamist extremist groups have threatened to avenge the military coup that removed democratically elected President Mohamed Morsy from power last year.

Opinion: Egypt's revolution on the margins

CNN's Ben Brumfield and Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Egypt
March 25, 2014 -- Updated 0026 GMT (0826 HKT)
An Egyptian court sentences at least 528 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges related to violent riots in the southern Egyptian city of Minya.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour sends letter to the family of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy.
March 9, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Sara Sidner talks about stepping in for Al Jazeera reporters since they have been barred from working in Egypt.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
How are the Arab Spring nations faring? What successes can they boast -- on democracy, economic progress, stability and women's rights -- and what challenges await?
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
A Cairo court has banned all activities by Hamas in Egypt, calling the Palestinian movement that runs Gaza a terrorist organization.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 2114 GMT (0514 HKT)
Lawyers representing Muslim Brotherhood members in a jailbreak case call for the judges to be changed.
February 20, 2014 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
Three Al Jazeera journalists face terrorism charges after being arrested in December. CNN's Sara Sidner reports.
February 9, 2014 -- Updated 1752 GMT (0152 HKT)
CNN's Christiane Amanpour son the Egyptian government's actions towards journalists.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0409 GMT (1209 HKT)
At least four people died and 14 were wounded by a blast on a tourist bus in the resort town of Taba, authorities say.
February 16, 2014 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
Mohamed Morsy taunts officials who placed him in a soundproof glass box during his trial on conspiracy charges.
February 11, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
An Oscar-nominated film portrays a revolution squeezed into its margins,but that's where it started, writes H.A. Hellyer.
January 22, 2014 -- Updated 0818 GMT (1618 HKT)
"Democracy" is meaningless unless the right people are entrusted with implementing it, says Aalam Wassef.
February 6, 2014 -- Updated 2130 GMT (0530 HKT)
Egypt's military quashes a newspaper report that quoted Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi as saying he would run for president.
January 26, 2014 -- Updated 0802 GMT (1602 HKT)
Muslim Brotherhood supporters (background) clash with supporters of the Egyptian government in Cairo on January 25, 2014.
At least 49 people died in violence on the third anniversary of the January 25 revolution, state media says.
January 18, 2014 -- Updated 2204 GMT (0604 HKT)
Voters have overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, a spokesman for Egypt's electoral commission says.
January 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
Egyptians vote for the first time since the military ousted Morsy. CNN's Ian Lee reports.
January 15, 2014 -- Updated 0111 GMT (0911 HKT)
A study suggests Egyptians are far more likely to support military rule than people in many other Mideast countries.
January 14, 2014 -- Updated 2054 GMT (0454 HKT)
CNN's Becky Anderson speaks to Amre Moussa about what went into the creation of Egypt's constitutional draft.
January 14, 2014 -- Updated 1812 GMT (0212 HKT)
Egyptians have high hopes that the referendum will put an end to the bloodshed, but will Egypt be back where it was at the start of the revolution?
January 13, 2014 -- Updated 1557 GMT (2357 HKT)
International correspondents demand Egypt release three journalists they say have been detained arbitrarily for two weeks.
ADVERTISEMENT