Thu September 5, 2013
Egyptian Official Survives Attack As 'Remarkable Calm' Broken
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:35 am
Just a few hours after this headline:
"Egyptians Hail Military Order as Calm Returns to Streets." (The Wall Street Journal)
... The still tenuous state of affairs in Egypt was underscored by this news:
"Egypt's Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim has survived a car bomb attack that targeted his convoy in Cairo." (BBC News)
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR's Cairo bureau chief, tells our Newscast Desk that:
State-run TV said a bomb was thrown from a building. The apparent target was Ibrahim, who had just left his home in a convoy of vehicles.
But a security official says it was a car bomb that detonated on the street near the minister's home.Three cars were destroyed, including two in the convoy. Two shopfronts were also destroyed.
The quasi-official Ahram newspaper reported that police shot dead two assailants.
Egyptian security forces have been a major target of militants since July, when the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi from power. Dozens of policemen have been killed and kidnapped, most of them on the Sinai Peninsula, which led to an intensive military operation there this week.
But the attack on Ibrahim was the first on a member of the interim government.
As for the Journal's report about calm returning to Egypt's streets, it writes that:
"The Egyptian military's ouster of Mohammed Morsi's Islamist government this summer brought on the worst violence in the country's modern history, culminating last month when a government crackdown on the fallen leader's supporters left more than 1,000 people dead and led to worries that the country was on a path to total chaos.
"Instead, a remarkable calm has emerged, with the capital returning to the rhythms of life that defined it before January 2011. For many Egyptians, the ideals of the revolution that felled Mr. Mubarak and brought Mr. Morsi to power no longer square with their desire to live without the daily interruptions caused by street marches and political gridlock that has contributed to a steep economic decline."