Top News: Police Foil Terrorist Attack at Karnak Temple in Luxor

Egypt’s security forces said they foiled a suicide bomb attack at the ancient Karnak temple in the southern city of Luxor on Wednesday. Police said officers opened fire on three men after they had refused to undergo security screening at a checkpoint near the site. Police shot two attackers as they pulled out weapons concealed in their bags, killing one and seriously wounding another, according to officers at the scene. A third attacker managed to detonate a bomb he was carrying and died. Four people, including two policemen, were wounded in the exchange, according to the Health Ministry. The governor of Luxor, Mohammed Sayed Badr, said no tourists were hurt in the bombing. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. In the wake of the attack, Egypt’s Antiquities Minister issued orders to intensify security at antiquities sites across the country in coordination with the Interior Ministry. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, The Guardian, 6/10/2015]


Egypt rejects opposition’s suggested amendments to election laws
A government-appointed committee charged with ‎drafting three laws necessary to pave the way for Egypt’s ‎long-delayed parliamentary elections has rejected suggestions of ‎amendments to these laws put forward by opposition political parties. ‎Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Transitional Justice ‎Ibrahim al-Heneidy told parliamentary reporters that three ‎copies of a semi-final draft of the three election laws were ‎delivered on Monday to President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, and chairman of the State ‎Council’s department of legislation and fatwas. ‎The three laws determine the workings of the House of ‎Representatives, the Division of Electoral Constituencies, ‎and the Exercise of Political Rights. [Ahram Online, 6/10/2015]  

Also of Interest


Woman arrested for flying balloons with anti-government slogans
A woman was arrested on Tuesday in Matrouh province, northwest of Cairo, for flying balloons bearing anti-government slogans. Matrouh’s security chief, Anany Hammouda, told independent daily Shorouk that “police arrested a housewife and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood with seventy-six balloons in her possession bearing abusive slogans against the state and its president.” The woman had flown the balloons at one of the province’s beaches, and was arrested with a marker that she had used to write on the balloons, according to Hammouda. He added that the “suspect had been detained after admitting to the confiscated possessions pending referral to general prosecution.” [Egypt Independent, 6/9/2015]

Rassd board members reportedly ‘disappeared’ from prison

Abdullah al-Fakharany and Samhi Mostafa have reportedly been taken from their prison cell in Tora Prison to an unknown location Saturday morning, and information about their whereabouts is yet to be known. Fakharany and Mostafa, board members of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Rassd News Network, are currently serving their life sentence in prison. They were accused of spreading false news and “forming an operations room to direct the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood to defy the government during the Raba’a al-Adaweya sit-in dispersal and to spread chaos in the country” in the trial widely known as the “Raba’a Operations Room” case. In related news, the Dokki Misdemeanor Court on Tuesday sentenced in absentia Mohamed al-Quddusi from the satellite TV channel Sharq to ten years in prison and fined him 500 Egyptian pounds for allegedly broadcasting false news that allegedly aimed to overthrow the regime in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood. Quddusi is a political analyst who supports the Muslim Brotherhood and considers the July 3 military ouster of the first elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi a “coup.” [DNE, Egypt Independent, 6/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Judge denies EU representatives entry to court | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian TV host Ahmed Moussa receives fresh jail sentence over slander | Ahram Online, AP, Mada Masr  
  • Teacher, students released on bail for ‘contempt of religion’ after ISIS video | DNE
  • State commissioners recommend releasing Hesham Talaat Mostafa | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s prosecution orders release of 122 detainees pending trial | Ahram Online
  • Street vendors expelled from downtown Cairo | Al-Monitor


Egypt signs African FTA agreement, ratification awaits parliament
Egypt signed on Wednesday, along with twenty-five African nations, an agreement to form the continent’s largest free trade area (FTA). The agreement, part of a larger-scale African agenda for 2063, will integrate the three existing economic zones: the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Southern African Development Community, and the East African Community. The FTA accounts for over half of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) and aims to create free trade zones for goods, with the eventual introduction of services and investor opportunities. An FTA covering the entire African continent is expected to be formed by 2017. However, Egypt’s final ratification of the agreement depends on approval from the parliament, which is yet to be elected. [Ahram Online, 6/10/2015]

Also of Interest


April 6 movement to hold strike despite sweeping arrests
The April 6 Youth Movement is due to lead a strike Thursday as sweeping arrests target activists associated with the group. A spokesperson for the movement previously told Daily News Egypt that the exact action to be taken will “remain a surprise.” In a statement, April 6 said, “We remain steadfast in our call to the Egyptian people to stay home on June 11 and to boycott all government bodies and institutions.” Spokesperson Amal Sharaf said the movement created this event because “things continue to go from bad to worse.” She added that injustice has “exceeded its limits,” especially with the news of mass death sentences, executions, and increases in military trials “especially in governorates outside Cairo.” [DNE, 6/10/2015]

Government investigating CIHRS, group says in statement
Rights group, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies issued a statement Wednesday saying that the organization has been referred to investigation by Egyptian authorities. According to the CIHRS statement, which was signed by multiple organizations including the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a Ministry of Social Solidarity committee visited CIHRS’ Cairo office on Tuesday as part of the investigation. According to a judicial order shown to CIHRS staff, the committee has been “tasked with examining whether CIHRS engages in the activities of civic associations under the provisions of Law 84/2002.” The statement added, “This is the practical application of the government warning issued to non-governmental organizations prior to November 10, 2014, although the government claimed it would not follow up on that warning.” CIHRS accused the government of investigating the organization in retaliation for a speech delivered by CIHRS director, Bahey al-Din Hassan, at a hearing of the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament in which he was critical of the human rights situation in Egypt. [CIHRS, 6/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Thirty-three hospital beds in Cairo for every 10,000: ECESR | DNE, Egypt Independent
  • Quarter of young Egyptian males want to emigrate: Survey | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s Ramadan still has a Chinese flavor | Ahram Online
  • ANHRI declares solidarity with journalists strike | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt aims to reduce fertility rate to 2.4 by 2030 | AP
  • NCHR receives complaints about forced disappearances | Egypt Independent  
  • Pensioners, master’s and doctoral degree holders protest | Egypt Independent
  • Massive fire breaks out at mattress factory north of Cairo | Cairo Post
  • Education Ministry revokes licenses of four international schools over ‘irregularities’ | Cairo Post


Egypt militants fire rockets toward airport used by multinational peacekeepers
Egypt’s Islamic State branch, previously known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, fired rockets on Tuesday at the direction of an airport in Sinai used by multinational peacekeeping forces, security sources said, adding that there were no casualties reported. The group claimed responsibility for the attack on several Twitter accounts linked to it. Details of the attack were not immediately clear with some security sources saying the rockets fell inside the airport and others saying they fell outside. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya, 6/10/2015]

Also of Interest


US officials not meeting with Muslim Brotherhood says State Department
The State Department said on Tuesday it will not meet a Muslim Brotherhood group visiting Washington for a private conference but said its policy remained to engage Egypt’s entire political spectrum. The department announced the decision a day after sources told Reuters that the US ambassador to Egypt had been summoned by Egyptian authorities because of their unhappiness about the private visit by Brotherhood figures to Washington. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke gave no detailed explanation for the decision not to meet the delegation this time. “We simply aren’t meeting with them this time. No change in policy. We remain in contact. We will remain in contact with groups across the political spectrum in Egypt,” he said. Meanwhile, a staff member at the US embassy in Cairo has reportedly been arrested by Egyptian authorities. An embassy spokesperson told Daily News EgyptTuesday, “We understand an Embassy employee, who is an Egyptian citizen, has been arrested by Egyptian security. We are in touch with Egyptian authorities regarding the charges and the next steps in the legal process.” News reports in local Egyptian media published Monday claim a security employee at the embassy was arrested on charges of belonging to an Islamist terrorist group.[Reuters, 6/10/2015]

Egypt to open Gaza border crossing on Saturday
Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah border crossing in both directions starting Saturday for three days, the Palestinian embassy in Egypt said on Wednesday. This will be the second time Egypt has opened the crossing since March. The crossing was last opened between May 26 to 28 in one direction, allowing 1,629 people to cross into Gaza, according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs figures. The embassy thanked Egyptian authorities for striving to “alleviate the suffering” of the people of Gaza. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 6/10/2015]  

Also of Interest

  • Saudi electricity minister arrives in Cairo to discuss cooperation | Ahram Online
  • Libya detains sixteen Egyptian fishermen for illegally entering territorial waters | Egypt Independent
  • Over 5,000 Yemenis leave Egypt for Yemen in past few days | Cairo Post