Egypt: Bombings hit Cairo University, Sabbahi struggles

Three bombs hit Cairo University in Egypt Wednesday morning, killing one police officer, one other and injuring about five people.

The police officer killed was identified as Brigadier-General Tarek El-Mergawi. Other high-ranking officers were included in the number of those injured. There was reportedly a fourth device but it was deactivated before it could go off.

Egypt ministers say they are set to pass a new “anti-terrorism” law on Thursday in response to the events.

There was much debate over who committed the actions, including blame on the Muslim Brotherhood. However, a militant group Ajnad Misr later claimed responsibility for the attacks. The United States embassy in Cairo has condemned the blasts at Cairo University today.

Egypt’s prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab called for an emergency meeting immediately after the blasts Wednesday afternoon, ultimately calling them “cowardly.” Ahram Online reports he “vowed [the bombings] would not hinder efforts to fight terrorism.”

In the meanwhile and back at the university, head Gabar Nassar said there would be no delay or cancellation of the rest of the academic semester due to the bombings.

As college campuses across Egypt are dealing with protests and clashes, he stated, “dealing firmly with the lawless students, expelling them and denying them access to the campus, is not enough. There has to be an anti-terrorism law.” He continued, “To preserve the state, all procedures should be taken, even if that means applying emergency law.”

[Photos of the blasts from Daily News Egypt / Ahram Online ]

Election season

Hamdeen Sabbahi, a presidential candidate going up against former military chief el-Sisi, has claimed much opposition against him and his campaign team. Some campaign members were arrested and assaulted. They also claim there are violations on both sides in obtaining the required signatures for nomination.

There is also a probe request to investigate the Sabbahi campaign as there are allegations of businessmen giving money to the presidential candidate. The team states the probe request is a defamation attempt.

A Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, now in detention for influencing violence, called Sisi a “tyrant” in court on Tuesday. He stated, “They [the current authorities] are the terrorists. This Sisi is the one who manufactured terrorism. “They are the ones who are killing the Egyptian people.”

More than 600,000 new voters were added to Egypt’s electoral database, a major general stated.

A new secretary general, judge Abdel-Aziz Salman, was appointed to the Presidential Electoral Committee (PEC) on Tuesday.

On the streets

Multiple 6 April protest groups in Egypt will join together to put on anniversary demonstrations this Thursday. Both the 6 April youth movement and the 6 April Democratic Front will be planning the sixth anniversary day’s events but not joining together.

They demand the release of prisoners from after Morsi’s ouster on 3 July of 2013. They hope to eventually have a petition hosting 500,000 signatures.

Through talks

Foreign Minister Fahmy and United Nations Security General Ban ki-Moon discussed Egypt’s peacekeeping role, touching upon the foreign policy conflict Egypt is involved in with Ethiopia over their plans of building a dam on the Nile river.

Egypt has weighed in on several peacekeeping efforts as well as being one of the parties involved in the debate on the Ethiopian Dam. Egypt said on Monday that it has not changed its stance on the Ethiopian Dam and that it would not make concessions that would impact upon its water share in regards to the building of the dam. Negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan are ongoing.

Well known activist Abdel Fattah, released from more than 100 days in detention, says in an interview on the Egypt crackdown, “this is not just about me. It’s almost as if it’s a war on a whole generation.”


The Muslim Brotherhood responded to the probe Britain is conducting on the political organization. Egypt’s government, which outlawed the organization and all relating activities, praised the investigation.

Already dealing with mass power outages in the month of April, the national government has announced measures to prevent continuing electricity blackouts in the summer.

Three extremists were killed in Sinai raids, an army spokesman stated.


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