16 Die in Egyptian Clashes as Muslim Brotherhood Stokes Flames

Anti-government protests marking the fourth anniversary of the Egyptian revolution have resulted in clashes that left at least 16 dead, including one policeman, according to Ahram Online. The report, citing the Egyptian Health Ministry, said that 10 persons were killed in a northern region of the capital of Cairo in an area where violence is typical. In another area of Egypt, a municipal headquarters was set on fire.

Ahram Online noted that the clashes follow a similar set of events last year, when more than 60 people were killed. Protestors in this year’s clashes include supporters and opponents of the current Egyptian government, including both secular opponents and religious ones from the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egypt Independent reported that the Brotherhood supported the protests and even saw benefit in the tragic results.

In a statement released by the Muslim Brotherhood, which seemed to presume their protestors would act peacefully, the religious group said that violence against the protestors would serve to stoke the flames of the revolution. Said the statement, “Let’s live as freemen, or die as martyrs.”

Promoting the “revolutionary path” as the best approach to countering the government led by former-general and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Muslim Brotherhood see their goals as overthrowing the current leadership.

The Muslim Brotherhood was a primary opponent to the government of President Hosni Mubarak and became the leading political force after the revolution in 2011. However, the Muslim Brotherhood-led government was short-lived and were overthrown in a military coup following mass protests by millions opposing their rule.

The Islamic group has been protesting and clashing with authorities since then, while the government has cracked down on the organization.

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, January 25, 2015)

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