Large scale demonstrations took place in Cairo and other Egyptian cities on Saturday as the country marked the third anniversary of the revolution on January 25, 2011, which toppled President Hosni Mubarak and led to a victory by the Muslim Brotherhood in ensuing national elections in 2012.
The demonstrations Saturday were mostly in protest, however, against the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July of 2013, and the toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood's government. Morsi has been under arrest ever since, as have thousands of the movement's leaders and activists.
Besides Islamist supporters of Morsi, protesters included other activists who accuse Egypt’s army, under Defense Minister Abdel Fatah a-Sisi, of hijacking the government. Sisi's takeover enjoyed wide support, amid popular resentment over attempts by the Muslim Brotherhood to consolidated power: from Egyptian secularists to the central stream within the Salafist movement, as well as Saudi Arabia and additional countries in the Persian Gulf region that feared the Morsi government's pro-Iranian tilt.
Footage from security camera near Intelligence headquarters shows explosion at 11:23
News agencies reported that seven people were killed in clashes with security forces, and in the course of the last few days, five terror attacks have been carried out against security installations.
On Friday, a powerful bomb was detonated next to the Intelligence headquarters in Cairo, with a group that is “inspired by Al Qaeda” taking credit for the attack.
On Saturday, a military helicopter was reportedly shot down in he Sinai desert. Five soldiers were killed. In addition, a small explosive charge blew up near the Cairo Police's training center, but there were no casualties and no damage was caused. The al-Sisi regime blamed the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey, the Brotherhood's main ally, for the terrorism and rioting.
In a recent referendum, Egypt's new constitution – which received the Salafi movement's blessings – was ratified with a huge majority. The Muslim Brotherhood boycotted the referendum so as to avoid granting legitimacy to the new parliamentary elections that are being planned, in which al-Sisi may present his candidacy for president.