Friday, 24 January 2014

Multiple Cairo blasts overshadow new constitution

At least one person was killed early January 24 when a vehicle-borne explosive device detonated near police headquarters in Cairo, Al Arabiya reported, citing Egypt's state television and its Interior Ministry...Initial reports also suggest two more blasts, a reportedly crude explosive device near the Behooth subway station and another near a police station in the Egyptian capital, killing 5 and injuring scores, according to RT...No responsibility has yet been claimed for some of the recent attacks, however militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has claimed the police headquarters attack...Early images of the blast scene suggest a powerful explosion caused major facade damage to the building, indicating the driver may have been unable to gain access to the compound proper due to concrete barriers in place...The blast seat is in an open multi-lane highway in front of the building, which probably helped dissipate the explosion’s brunt around the building...The early morning timing of the explosion also explains the low casualties, and the relatively strong explosion could mean the attack was a protest against the regime rather than specified destruction...The explosions come just days after the January 18 constitution was overwhelmingly passed with 98.1 percent support giving the ruling military government enhanced political power...Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi have threatened to complicate the military’s rule with militant activity...Violence already marred the first few days of constitutional voting as General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced his presidential bid and a potential return to democratic processes...Egypt’s military are likely to use their increased powers to clamp down harder on Islamist militants and Muslim Brotherhood supporters, further marginalising the groups.

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