2 killed in Giza clashes on Friday

Two people died in Giza in the course of sporadic protests and violence on Friday, a day after the one-year anniversary of the brutal dispersal of Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins last August that claimed at least 1,000 lives.

The state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported that two protesters were killed when clashes broke out between police and demonstrators marking the dispersal anniversary in Giza’s Badrasheen neighborhood.

Friday’s violence was concentrated in the Matareya, Ain Shams and Zeitoun areas east of Cairo, as well as the Faisal and Haram areas in west Cairo.

Several protesters and a special forces officer were injured in the Matareya clashes, according to Al-Ahram. Protesters reportedly attempted to set a gas station on fire during the events.

Demonstrators marched across the country after Friday prayers. In Alexandria, the state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported that police immediately dispersed marches leaving from mosques, arresting some of the protesters.

On Thursday, four people died when Muslim Brotherhood-organized protests marking the dispersal anniversary devolved into violent clashes, with the worst of the violence occurring in Matareya.

Security forces had issued a warning against any protest actions on Thursday, though the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy called for widespread protests on both Thursday and Friday. However, turnout at the protests was relatively low.

Also on Friday, several media outlets reported that Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim ordered the formation of a task force to look into video statements issued by a group calling itself the Helwan Brigades.

The group posted a video to YouTube that went viral, featuring 12 masked men with guns threatening retaliation against the security apparatus.

In the video, the group promised to kill, rape and rob, saying, “We are tired of the Brotherhood’s peaceful protests.” The men went on to say that they love Egypt and that they used to be peaceful, but were coerced into violence in response to police brutality.

“No peaceful protest with the Ministry of Interior,” the purported group members chanted toward the end of the three-minute video.

The video was initially posted by the Islamist Rasd website. Mada Masr could not verify its authenticity. 

MENA reported that the Ministry of Interior is taking all threats seriously until its origins are confirmed.