Saturday, May 30, 2015Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rival rallies for Egypt anniversary clouded by bombings

Published on Jan 25, 2014 5:34 PM

CAIRO (AFP) - A spate of deadly bombings put Egyptian police on edge on Saturday, as supporters and opponents of the military-installed government prepared rival rallies for the anniversary of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

Hours before the rallies were due to start, residents of a north Cairo neighbourhood woke up to a small explosion outside a police training centre, a day after four blasts, including a car bombing outside police headquarters, killed six people.

An Al-Qaeda inspired group - Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or Partisans of Jerusalem - claimed responsibility for the bombings, all of them targeting police, and urged ordinary Egyptian "Muslims" to stay away from police buildings.

Police deployed across the capital as supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, toppled by the military in July, readied counter-demonstrations to the commemorations called by the authorities. The Islamists have announced more than a dozen planned marches from Cairo mosques for Saturday to launch 18 days of protests.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!