Share This Page

Violence flares in Egypt as presidential election nears

| Friday, May 2, 2014, 6:12 p.m.
A bystander throws a tear gas canister that came back from the al-Azhar University campus after the canister was originally shot by the Egyptian security forces towards protesters at the school in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, May 2, 2014. Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi continue to protest in the streets as retired Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led last year's overthrow of Morsi, appears poised to win in the presidential election planned this month. (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid)

CAIRO — Suicide bombings in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula hit a police checkpoint and a passenger bus, and two Cairo bombings, including one targeting police, killed at least five people Friday, a day before the start of campaigning in the country's presidential election.

In the May 26-27 election, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the now-retired army chief who led last summer's overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsy, appears poised to win on a wave of nationalistic fervor. Posters by his supporters around Cairo tout el-Sissi as a strongman in “the fight against terror” — a reference to a wave of Islamic militant attacks that have escalated since Morsy's ouster.

The violence first flared in Sinai, where several al-Qaida-inspired groups have long operated, but in past months it has moved into Egypt's heartland in the Nile Delta and into the capital, Cairo — mainly in the form of crude but often lethal bombings of positions of police or soldiers.

Militant groups have said the attacks are in retaliation for the ferocious security crackdown since Morsy's ouster that has killed hundreds of his Islamist supporters and arrested thousands more.

Morsy's backers have continued in protests against the interim government, often leading to bloodshed. On Friday, clashes erupted between Morsy supporters and locals backing security forces in Cairo and the country's second largest city, Alexandria, leaving two protesters dead and five wounded, according to security officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to brief journalists. The Interior Ministry said that police arrested 42 people during protests across the country in the course of the day, 27 of them in Alexandria.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.