July 26, 2013 |
CAIRO -- Egypt's political divisions seethed Friday as rival rallies between opponents and supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi surged through cities, and the army increased pressure on Islamists to abandon a month-long sit-in outside a Cairo mosque. The nation's volatile atmosphere -- tanks clattered and riot police gathered -- sharpened hours after state media reported that prosecutors accused Morsi of espionage, murder and conspiring with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
July 25, 2013 |
TUNIS, Tunisia - A Tunisian opposition figure was shot to death at his home Thursday, igniting widespread protests after the second high-profile political assassination this year in a country strained by the conflict between Islamist and secular forces. Mohammed Brahmi, a member of parliament, was shot 11 times in front of his wife and daughter by men on a motorbike, according to news reports. Brahmi, an Arab nationalist, served on the contentious panel that wrote Tunisia's proposed constitution.
July 16, 2013 |
While Egypt's revolution devolves into chaos, Tunisia's democratic transition, which until now has been the most promising of any in the Arab world, is also in jeopardy. A bill being pushed by Islamists and their allies in National Constituent Assembly called the "law for the protection of the revolution" seems in reality designed to protect the ruling Islamist party, Nahda, from having to face real competition in the next elections. Like its sister party, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Nahda triumphed in Tunisia's first free election, in 2011.
July 16, 2013 |
CAIRO - Fear of a fresh wave of violence gripped Egypt on Tuesday as a new Cabinet was sworn in to try to stem years of economic turmoil and move the polarized nation beyond the Islamist-led government of deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Seven people were killed and more than 260 injured late Monday and early Tuesday when Morsi loyalists battled police on streets strewn with stones and burning garbage. The fighting followed last week's army attack on Islamists in front of the Republican Guard headquarters that killed at least 51 supporters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement.
July 15, 2013 |
CAIRO - With the Obama administration facing recriminations across Egypt for its response to the July 3 military coup, a top U.S. diplomat began a two-day visit to Cairo on Monday to press for a halt to violence and a swift transition to a new democratic government. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, the first senior U.S. official to visit since the coup, met with Egypt's military-backed interim leaders as demonstrators held another large rally on the other side of the city demanding the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
July 13, 2013 |
BEIRUT - The principal U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group is demanding that an Islamist insurgent faction turn over the suspected killer of one of its commanders in a slaying that has highlighted tension among allies fighting to overthrow the Syrian government. "We demand that the perpetrators of this heinous crime be handed over to be tried by an independent judicial commission," Louay Meqdad, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army, said Saturday in a telephone interview from Istanbul, Turkey.
July 12, 2013 |
CAIRO - The Obama administration called Friday for Egypt's ousted Islamist president to be released from military detention, as his supporters vowed to continue a massive sit-in until he is returned to power. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, and other leaders of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood have been subject to "politically motivated arrests" since a coup nine days ago. The comments marked the first time the U.S. has publicly called for Morsi's release, but they also reflected the difficult balance the Obama administration is trying to strike.
July 11, 2013 |
CAIRO - With supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi calling for another mass rally Friday, Egypt's military gave a fuller accounting of its role in deadly clashes this week, saying it opened fire only after encountering stones, gunfire, Molotov cocktails and even toilets hurled from rooftops. The military's version of events - accompanied by an edited video - came during a briefing Thursday for journalists and suggested the army was in a propaganda battle with the Muslim Brotherhood over which side was more complicit in the violence Monday in front of the Republican Guard's Cairo headquarters.
July 10, 2013 |
To the extent that the Obama administration has responded to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, it has largely accepted the shake-up as a necessary, if not fully legitimate, response to the bumbling incompetence and growing authoritarianism of his government. President Obama is "deeply concerned" by the military's decision to remove Morsi, but he has not described it as a "coup" - a designation that might have imperiled the $1.3 billion in U.S. aid Egypt receives annually - or called for Morsi's reinstatement.
July 8, 2013 |
CAIRO - As the Muslim Brotherhood reeled from the deaths of dozens of supporters Monday, many of its opponents voiced skepticism of the Islamists' claims that Egyptian soldiers fired on peaceful demonstrators while they were saying the dawn prayer. The Brotherhood and the army “have been playing a political game with each other for a long time,” shrugged Islam Amed, a 25-year-old student sitting under a banner in Cairo's Tahrir Square. “I think the Brotherhood provoked the army to get this response.” Tamer Tota, a 28-year-old with a black kaffiyeh wrapped around his head, nodded in agreement.