Citing continued turmoil, Egypt extends state of emergency for 2 months

Dina Ezzat, Thursday 12 Sep 2013

State of emergency was originally slated in mid-August for one month; night-to-dawn curfew remains in place

Egyptian soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint during a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the Zamalek district of Cairo, Egypt. (Photo: AP)

Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour decided Thursday afternoon to extend the state of emergency, originally imposed on 14 August, for 2 months, Ahram Online confirmed.

Meanwhile, the government did not unveil any plans to lift the night-to-morning curfew it imposed in 14 governorates on the same day.

"The curfew in the 14 governorates will be reviewed according to the state of security in each location," a governmental source told Ahram Online.

"However the curfew might shorten to midnight until 5am with the start of the school year on 21 September," the source added.

The curfew currently extends from 11pm to 6am except for Friday, when the curfew starts at 7pm.

The curfew was imposed in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Suez, Ismailia, Assiut, Sohag, Beni Suef, Minya, Beheira, South Sinai, North Sinai, Fayoum and Qena. 

The state of emergency was imposed on 14 August amid clashes that followed the bloody dispersal of two sit-ins of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo, which left more than 600 dead and over 40 officers killed. 

The presidency declared in a statement that the measure was in response to "assaults on public and private property as well as killings by extremist groups."

Egypt has been under the grip of nationwide violence and turmoil since 14 August.

More than 40 churches have been burnt or looted by alleged Morsi sympathisers.

Meanwhile, North Sinai governorate has been the stage of violent confrontation between Egyptian security forces and suspected jihadist groups, with dozens killed from both sides. 

On 3 September, Mansour said in a televised interview that he did not expect to extend the state of emergency if security conditions improve.

However, on 5 September, interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded near his convoy in east Cairo, leaving two dead and dozens of policemen and civilians injured.

Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, a jihadist group based in the Sinai, recently claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt and blamed the minister for the killings of hundreds of Islamist supporters.

Meanwhile, the government has repeatedly said that despite political instability it will abide by its roadmap for political transition which was issued on 3 July in the aftermath of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The roadmap entails public referendum on constitutional amendments in less than two month from now followed by presidential and parliamentary elections.

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