Tuesday 23 May 2017
(BBC News Africa 04/19/17)
One policeman has been killed by gunmen who opened fire on a checkpoint near St Catherine's monastery in Egypt's south Sinai, officials say. Another three police officers were injured in the attack several hundred metres from the church entrance. So-called Islamic State group said its fighters carried out the attack. Located at the foot of Mount Sinai, St Catherine's is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world and a Unesco world heritage site. It is part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Tuesday's attack comes just days after bombings at two Coptic Christian churches left 45 people dead. The attacks have raised security fears ahead of a visit to Cairo by Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed several mummies, colourful wooden sarcophagi and more than 1,000 funerary statues in a 3,500-year-old tomb near the city of Luxor, hailing an "important discovery". The 18th Dynasty tomb containing at least eight mummies was discovered in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis near the famed Valley of the Kings, the antiquities ministry said in a Tuesday statement. It belonged to a nobleman named Userhat who worked as the city judge. It was opened to add more mummies during the 21st Dynasty, about 3,000 years ago, to protect them during a period when tomb-robbing was common, Mostafa Waziri, the head of the archaeological mission, said at the site. "It was a surprise how much was being displayed inside,"...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
Egyptian police on Tuesday arrested a man wanted for alleged involvement in twin church bombings this month claimed by the Islamic State group, an official said. Acting on a tip-off, police arrested Ali Mahmoud Mohamed Hassan, one of 19 suspects whose names police made public after the Palm Sunday explosions, the official said. Two suicide bombers attacked two churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria on April 9, killing 45 people in the deadliest attack on Coptic Christians in recent memory. Hassan was arrested in the southern province of Qena, from where the two suicide bombers also came.
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
A flood of new issuance is offsetting foreign-investor demand for Egyptian debt, keeping yields among the highest in emerging markets. Offshore investors boosted holdings of government Treasury bills to 79 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) as of April 4, compared with less than 1 billion pounds before a currency devaluation in November, according to Finance Ministry data. Government borrowing is already 11 percent higher than the target this year, and 18 percent over budget since the beginning of March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Yields on Egyptian debt are the highest among 31 nations in Bloomberg Emerging Market Local Sovereign Index even as the cheaper pound attracts much-needed dollars from abroad. That presents a dilemma for policy makers in Africa’s...
(AL Jazeera 04/18/17)
The 'Rashid tragedy' last September claimed the lives of more than 200 people seeking to cross the Mediterranean. Muhammad Hassan, a Somali-born refugee, remembers the screams and final prayers of the drowning, voices that still keep him awake at night half a year later. "A lot of people were dying and dragging others down," he recalled. "I swam away from them and watched people dying, heard the sounds of people going down." Hassan was forced to flee his hometown in 1992 before later migrating to Yemen, Sudan and then Egypt. Unable to return home, his last resort was to head across the Mediterranean Sea last September- his seventh attempt at making the crossing - after losing his wife to the...
(Sudan News Agency 04/18/17)
Sudan Ambassador to Egypt, Abdul-Mahmoud Abdul-Halim, has welcomed the visit of the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Samih Shukri, next Thursday to Khartoum to participate in meetings of the joint Sudanese - Egyptian consultative committee. Ambassador Abdul-Halim said that the visit of the Egyptian Foreign Minister provides opportunity for exchanging views between the two sides on the political, economic and consular files. He hoped that the upcoming visit of the Egyptian Foreign Minister will result in calming down the situation and reactivating the Sudanese - Egyptian relations. He called for refrain from slide of the tension to the people's sectors, especially that the relations between the peoples of the two countries have remained characterized by amity and solidarity. He said that hopes...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Egypt's antiquities ministry announced Tuesday the unearthing of a funerary collection of a New Kingdom tomb, including mummies and Ushabti figurines, in upper Egypt's Luxor governorate. "An Egyptian archaeological mission working in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis on Luxor's west bank unearthed the funerary collection of a New Kingdom tomb of Userhat, the city juror," Dr. Mostafa Waziri, head of the archaeological mission told Xinhua. The new tomb's opening comes as the world celebrates the annual April 18 World Heritage Day. The opening was attended by Egyptian minister of antiquities Khaled al-Anany, Luxor's governor, a number of Egyptian officials and local and international archaeologists. Meanwhile, Waziri said the tomb is a typical prototype of a nobleman's tomb, adding that the...
(AFP (eng) 04/17/17)
The Egyptian authorities have arrested 13 suspected "terrorists" allegedly planning to attack Christians and public institutions, the interior ministry said on Sunday, a week after deadly church bombings. The announcement came as Egypt's Christians marked Easter under tight security a week after Palm Sunday bombings claimed by the Islamic State group killed 45 people at churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. The "13 terrorist elements" belonged to cells preparing attacks against "government and Christian institutions" and police in four northern provinces including Alexandria, a ministry statement said. It was not immediately clear when the arrests took place. Security forces have also discovered two farms in Alexandria
(AFP (eng) 04/17/17)
The Egyptian authorities have arrested 13 suspected "terrorists" allegedly planning to attack Christians and public institutions, the interior ministry said on Sunday, a week after deadly church bombings. The announcement came as Egypt's Christians marked Easter under tight security a week after Palm Sunday bombings claimed by the Islamic State group killed 45 people at churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. The "13 terrorist elements" belonged to cells preparing attacks against "government and Christian institutions" and police in four northern provinces including Alexandria, a ministry statement said. It was not immediately clear when the arrests took place.
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/15/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced former interior minister Habib al-Adly to seven years in prison for corruption Saturday, in one of the last cases against Hosni Mubarak-era officials following his 2011 overthrow. Adly, who was seen as a brutal enforcer for the ousted strongman Mubarak, can appeal the verdict. The sentencing came less than a month after Mubarak himself was freed from detention, following his acquittal over charges of involvement in protester deaths during the 18-day revolt that unseated him. Adly and other police commanders had also been acquitted of those charges. But the court on Saturday found him and 10 other interior ministry officials guilty of embezzling more than two billion pounds (about $110 million) while Adly was interior minister...
(AFP (eng) 04/15/17)
Egypt tightened security outside churches as Coptic Christians prepared for a subdued Easter mass on Saturday days after suicide bombers killed scores of people in two churches north of the capital. Worshippers will pass through arduous checks outside churches after police, backed by the military, beefed up security following the Palm Sunday church bombings that killed 45 people in two cities north of Cairo. The government had declared a state of emergency and called in the army to protect "vital" installations following the suicide bombings in Tanta and Alexandria, which were claimed by the Islamic State group. Police have deployed in force since Friday creating a cordon outside churches for initial inspection, and worshippers will be searched again with metal...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/15/17)
Members of Egypt's Christian minority flocked to church on Friday but two church bomb attacks on Palm Sunday that killed 45 people have left many in a sombre mood over Easter. Worshippers from the nearly 2,000-year-old Coptic Christian community attended church services, but the holiday to mark the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ was being observed in subdued fashion, according to church officials. In the city of Alexandria, Christians congregated at Saint Mark's Cathedral, historic seat of the Coptic Pope, to attend Good Friday prayers. Worshippers passed through a metal detector at the building entrance, where one of the bombs went off. Rafiq Bishry, head of the church's
(AFP (eng) 04/15/17)
When Egyptian real estate developer Hassan tried building an apartment block without paying bribes, officials stalled the project, going so far as to suggest there were ancient relics beneath the lot. Hassan buckled and found a middleman to disperse the bribes. Bribery and corruption have been rife in Egypt, where a traffic policeman can look past a violation if a crumpled bill finds its way into his pocket. The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has decided to crack down, with each month bringing news of stings ensnaring a corrupt official. Corruption "breaks people's morale, and gives them a feeling that there is no hope," Sisi has said. It was one of the main causes of the 2011 uprising that...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/15/17)
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti starting on Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday. It said Mattis would "reaffirm key U.S. military alliances," and "discuss cooperative effort to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations" during the April 18-23 tour. In Israel, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the statement said. (Reporting by Washington Newsroom, editing by G Crosse)
(AFP (eng) 04/14/17)
An Egypt court has handed a lawyer 10 years in jail for insulting the president and "inciting terrorism" in a Facebook post, a judicial official and his lawyer said Thursday. The court in the coastal city of Alexandria on Wednesday also sentenced lawyer Mohammed Ramadan in absentia to five years' house arrest and an internet ban for the same period, the official said. Ramadan's lawyer, Mohammed Hafez, slammed what he called a "harsh" ruling, which he said was intended as "a message for all those who criticise the regime".
(AFP (eng) 04/14/17)
Egypt's interior ministry said Thursday it had identified the bomber who targeted a Palm Sunday service at a Coptic Christian church in the northern city of Tanta, killing 28 people. The previous day, the ministry had named the man it said was the bomber who struck outside a church in the Mediterranean port of Alexandria. A total of 45 people were killed in the two attacks, which were claimed by the Islamic State group. On Thursday, the ministry issued another statement saying that the Tanta bomber had now been identified as well. "DNA tests carried out on the family of a fugitive member and the remains of the suicide bomber... made it possible to identify him as Mamduh Amin Mohammed...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/14/17)
Egypt's interior ministry on Thursday identified the suicide bomber in the church bombing in the city of Tanta as Mamdouh Amin Mohamed Baghdadi, a resident of Qena, south of Cairo. At least 45 people, as well as the bombers, were killed in attacks on a cathedral in Alexandria and the church in Tanta in the Nile Delta on Palm Sunday, April 9. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks. A ministry statement said Baghdadi was born in 1977 and was one of 19 suspected militants believed to belong to a cell behind a December suicide bombing of Cairo's main Coptic cathedral, another attack claimed by Islamic State. The statement said the authorities had arrested 3 of the 19 suspected militants...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
Egypt on Wednesday named the suicide bomber who attacked a cathedral in Alexandria as 31-year-old Mahmoud Hassan Mubarak Abdullah, describing him as a fugitive with links to militant cells that carried out previous strikes in the country. Abdullah detonated his explosives at the entrance to Saint Mark's Cathedral, the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 17 people as mass was being conducted. Hours earlier, another bomb tore through a church in Tanta, a city in the Nile Delta. Egypt's government imposed a three-month state of emergency in the wake of the attacks. The interior ministry said in a statement that Abdullah had been a resident of Suez province and used to work for a petroleum company. It posted a...

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