El Sisi Asks for Mandate to Combat Terrorism

State TV pictures show General Abdel Fatah El Sisi delivering his speech in Cairo | AP

State TV pictures show General Abdel Fatah El Sisi delivering his speech in Cairo | AP

In a speech at a military graduation ceremony, el-Sisi urged Egyptians to counter Muslim Brotherhood supporters on Friday—the day on which such marches have become expected—and to give him a “mandate” to combat terrorism. The Tamarod movement echoed el-Sisi’s call to the streets, with Tamarod leader Mahmoud Badr asking Egyptians to confront Muslim Brotherhood’s “violence and terrorism.” The Nour Party, however, rejected the call for Egyptians to give al-Sisi a popular “mandate” to stop the violence, noting that the state already has the authority to lawfully curb violence. Morsi supporter and prominent Freedom and Justice Party member Amr Darrag characterized el-Sisi’s speech as inciting “civil war.” Mohamed al-Beltagy was quoted as telling pro-Morsi crowds that they should both “prepare for a second jihad” and remain peaceful in their rallies on Friday.

Early on Wednesday, assailants injured a police sergeant and an army conscript in separate attacks on the Arish police station and North Sinai Radio building. Another pair of attacks in Arish, this time on military checkpoints, left one dead and one injured. Elsewhere near Arish, a car bomb exploded near a police base, resulting in the death of four militants.

During a march in Cairo, at least one Morsi supporter was killed, according to a security source. The Muslim Brotherhood claimed that another person had died and others were injured, all from plainclothes police using live ammunition against the demonstrators. In Mansoura, a city about 80 miles north of Cairo, a bomb thrown at a police station from a vehicle killed one and left 28 more injured. In Damietta, along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, 25 were injured in clashes between residents and Morsi supporters.

At Sheikh Zuweid Hospital, located in the city of the same name in North Sinai, both a doctor’s cafeteria and an army truck parked outside the hospital were were fired on, though no injuries resulted. The al-Raysa checkpoint was also fired on, again resulting in no injuries. Finally, in Tanta, five people were injured in clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi crowds according to the security director of the Gharbiya governorate.

Additional warrants were issued for a range of Muslim Brotherhood members and allies by Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat. The charges under which the warrants were issued were “ordering armed groups to cut off highways and threaten violence in the city of Qalyub, spreading violence and damaging [the] public interest.” Warrants were issued for: General Guide Mohamed Badie, Mohamed Abdel Maksoud, Mohamed al-Beltagi, Safwat Hegazi, Abdel Rahman al-Berr, Gamal Abdel Hadi, Abdullah Barakat, Bassem Ouda, and Osama Yassin. The latter two are respectively the former Minister of Supply and the former Minister of Youth.