Friday sees Brotherhood offices under attack across Egypt

Ahram Online, Friday 22 Mar 2013

In Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, Mahalla, and Zagazig, Muslim Brotherhood buildings were attacked, in a day of protests against the group

Muslim Brotherhood
Egyptian policemen write a report at a destroyed branch headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood after protesters broke in to the building in the Manial neighborhood in Cairo (Photo: AP)

Protests against the Muslim Brotherhood, from which President Mohamed Morsi hails, sparked violence in a number of cities across the country on Friday.

The Brotherhood's main headquarters in the Cairo district of Mokattam was the epicentre of events, and the area surrounding the premises saw prolonged violence between anti-Brotherhood protests and members of the Islamist group. Police repeatedly tried to disperse the crowd with teargas.

On their way to the Mokattam district, some anti-Brotherhood demonstrators stopped to storm the Brotherhood office in Cairo's El-Manial district, around six kilometres away from their target destination.

According to Ahram's Arabic language news website, the intruders destroyed several desks on the ground floor before leaving. Some of the demonstrators also tried to set the place alight but were prevented by other marchers.

Police forces arrived later on and protesters dispersed.

Over 200 kilometres away in the coastal city of Alexandria, protesters ransacked a local office belonging to the Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

An Associated Press cameraman saw protesters attack the office in Alexandria, leaving with computers, files and other objects. The attack took place near the site where unknown assailants fought protesters demanding the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi, who is a member of the party.

Attef Aboul-Eid, a leading FJP member, said the youth of the party will be deployed to secure all FJP offices in Alexandria. He also confirmed that intruders had stolen belongings from the office they broke into.

In the town of Mansoura, situated in the Delta's Daqahliya Governorate, dozens hurled stones at a Brotherhood office in Suez Canal Street while chanting against the group and against Morsi. They also called for the fulfillment of the revolution's demands; bread, freedom and social justice.

In Mahalla, located in the central Delta governorate of Gharbiya, protesters attacked an FJP office with Molotov cocktails, setting the building alight, while chanting similar slogans. The industrial city has witnessed fierce demonstrations against the Brotherhood in past weeks.

In Sharqiya's Zagazig, east of Delta, angry protesters stoned a local Brotherhood office, which members of the group tried to protect. A car belonging to university professor Yasser El-Hag, a Brotherhood member, was destroyed in the melee.

Brotherhood offices came under attack across Egypt last December and more frequently since the second anniversary of the January 25 revolution.
The Brotherhood has characterised the assailants as "thugs" and "counter-revolutionaries" seeking to oust democratically-elected Morsi.

Critics of the Brotherhood, however, bemoan the deteriorating economic condition of the country, accusing Morsi and his FJP-majority government of incompetence.

They argue that the Brotherhood is the de facto ruling body of Egypt, despite repeated claims by senior Brotherhood figures and by the presidency that Morsi governs independently of the group.

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