Death toll rises to 11 as Egypt marks 4th anniversary of revolution

The death toll in pro-democracy protests in Egypt on Sunday climbed to 11, security sources said. Tight security in Cairo and other cities failed to contain protests marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Death toll rises to 11 as Egypt marks 4th anniversary of revolution

World Bulletin / News Desk

 At least 16 people have been killed across Egypt on Sunday during protests marking the fourth anniversary of the Jan. 25 revolution, which ended the autocracy of longstanding President Hosni Mubarak.

In a statement, the Egyptian Health Ministry said 16 people were killed and 38 other people were injured.

For its part, the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, the main bloc backing ousted President Mohamed Morsi, said 15 of its supporters were killed during clashes with police forces.

Four years to Sunday, thousands of Egyptians took to the streets and eventually descended on Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo to protest police brutality.

With many protesters killed and wounded by security forces, the demonstrations soon developed into a full-fledged popular uprising nationwide that demanded regime change.

Mubarak had to step down on Feb. 11 of the same year under public pressure, handing over power to the military.

A transitional phase ended with the election of Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader.

Morsi was removed by the military on July 3 of 2013 following mass demonstrations against his one-year rule.

His supporters, however, describe his removal as a military coup while others insist it was a popular military-backed uprising.

Thousands of Morsi supporters have since been killed or jailed amid a massive crackdown on dissent in general.

TIGHT SECURITY

Sunday marks the fourth anniversary of Egypt's revolution that led to the ouster of longtime autocrat Mubarak.

Separately, a bomb targeted policemen stationed outside a Cairo sports club, the sources said.

Supporters of deposed president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood gathered near Tahrir Square -- symbolic heart of the 201 revolt -- and held up photographs of him, a Reuters witness said. Security forces rounded them up. They also teargas to disperse a protest in Cairo's Ramses Square, officials said.

Tensions have been rising in Egypt. A woman protester was shot dead on Saturday near Cairo's Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of the revolt that ended Mubarak's 30 years of rule. Dozens of protesters were killed during last year's anniversary.

State news agency MENA said 22 armoured vehicles were parked around Tahrir Square and roads to the square were sealed off.

Security forces were also dispatched to Rabaa Square in northeast Cairo, where hundreds of Mursi supporters were killed in August 2013, one month after the army toppled him.

Mursi and other Brotherhood leaders are standing trial on a range of charges, from inciting violence to conspiring with the Palestinian militant group Hamas against Egypt. They deny the charges.

Although a security crackdown has virtually ended street demonstrations, several took place this week in Cairo and Egypt's second city, Alexandria.

In a televised address on Saturday, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised the desire for change Egyptians showed four years ago but said it would take patience to achieve all of "the revolution's goals".

Sisi announced a roadmap to democracy after toppling Mursi when mass protests against his rule erupted. But human rights groups accuse the former military intelligence chief under Mubarak of restoring authoritarian rule to the most populous Arab state. The government says it is committed to democracy.

Opponents say new laws, including one restricting protests, have rolled back freedoms won in the uprising, when hundreds died as security forces clashed with protesters.

Mubarak-era figures are slowly being cleared of charges and laws curtailing political freedoms have raised fears among activists that the old leadership is regaining influence.

An Egyptian court ordered the release of Mubarak's sons Alaa and Gamal on Thursday pending a retrial in a corruption case. In November, a court dropped charges against Mubarak of conspiring to kill protesters in the uprising.

Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2015, 19:30
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