Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: Egypt tensions rise, one American killed; Snowden tips US return; Vatican cleric arrested for money laundering

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Egypt cleric warns of civil war, American among protest dead
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Two people, one an American, were killed when protesters stormed an office of Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria, adding to growing tension ahead of mass rallies aimed at unseating the Islamist president.

A third man was killed and 10 injured in an explosion during a protest in Port Said, at the mouth of the Suez Canal. Police on Saturday said the cause was unclear but protesters, believing it was a bomb, attacked an Islamist party office in the city.

Egypt’s leading religious authority warned of “civil war” after violence in the past week that had already left several dead and hundreds injured. They backed President Mohamed Mursi’s offer to talk to opposition groups ahead of Sunday’s protests.

The United Nations, European Union and United States have appealed for restraint and urged Egypt’s deadlocked political leaders to step back from a confrontation threatening the new democracy that emerged from the Arab Spring revolution of 2011.

The U.S. embassy said in a statement it was evacuating non-essential staff and family members and renewed a warning to Americans not to travel to Egypt unless they had to.

The Muslim Brotherhood said eight of its offices had been attacked on Friday, including the one in Alexandria. Officials said more than 70 people had been injured in the clashes in the city. One was shot dead and a young American man who was using a small camera died after being stabbed in the chest.

A Brotherhood member was also killed overnight in an attack on a party office at Zagazig, in the heavily populated Nile Delta, where much of the recent violence has been concentrated. Mursi’s movement said five supporters in all had died this week.

“Vigilance is required to ensure we do not slide into civil war,” said clerics at Cairo’s ancient Al-Azhar institute, one of the most influential centres of scholarship in the Muslim world.

In a statement broadly supportive of Mursi, they backed his offer of dialogue and blamed “criminal gangs” who besieged mosques for the violence. The Brotherhood warned of “dire consequences” and “a violent spiral of anarchy”.

It accused liberal leaders, including former U.N. diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, of personally inciting violence by hired “thugs” once loyal to ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Opposition leaders condemned the violence. The army, which has warned it could intervene if political leaders lose control, issued a statement saying it had deployed across the country to protect citizens and installations of national importance.

In the capital, Cairo, tens of thousands turned out for rival events some miles apart and there was little trouble. An Islamist rally included calls to reconciliation. On Tahrir Square, cradle of the uprising against Mubarak, there was a festive atmosphere and a determination to shake Mursi on Sunday.

In Alexandria, as several thousand anti-Mursi protesters marched along the seafront, a Reuters reporter saw about a dozen men throw rocks at guards outside the Brotherhood office. They responded. Bricks and bottles flew. Guns were fired.

Officials said dozens were wounded by birdshot. The party office was ransacked and documents were burned, watched by jubilant youths chanting against Egypt’s Islamist leaders.

In Port Said, a bastion of anti-Islamist sentiment, police had suspected an accident but later said a device exploded among protesters. Canal traffic has not been affected by violence.

Cairo calm

Islamists gathered round a Cairo mosque after weekly prayers to show support for Mursi. His opponents hope millions will turn out on Sunday to demand he step down, a year to the day after he was sworn in as Egypt’s first freely chosen leader.

Mursi, backed by the Brotherhood, has dismissed such demands as an assault on democracy, setting up an angry confrontation.

“I came to support the legitimate order,” said Ahmed al-Maghrabi, 37, a shopkeeper from the Nile Delta city of Mansoura whose hand bore grazes from street fighting there this week. “I am with the elected president. He needs to see out his term.”

Some speakers reflected fear and anger among Islamists that opponents aim to suppress them as Mubarak did. But there was also talk from the podium of the need for dialogue – a concern also of international powers worried by the bitter polarisation.

A few hundred opposition protesters gathered outside the presidential palace, a focus for Sunday’s rally. Mursi has moved elsewhere. Thousands turned out after dark in Tahrir Square, waving national flags and sampling street food.

Abdelhamid Nada, a 32-year-old accountant, had come from the provinces with eight friends to camp out “until Mursi goes”. “The Muslim Brotherhood has no plan at all,” he said, standing by his white tent. “They don’t have any economic plan, they don’t have any social plan, they don’t have any political plan.”

Strategic importance

The army, which heeded mass protests in early 2011 to push Mubarak aside, has warned it will intervene again if there is violence, and to defend the “will of the people”. Both sides believe that means the military may support their positions.

The United States, which funds Egypt’s army as it did under Mubarak, has urged compromise and respect for election results. Egypt’s 84 million people, control of Suez and its peace treaty with Israel all contribute to its global strategic importance.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon urged Egyptians to respect “universal principles of peaceful dialogue”. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called for peaceful protests, building trust and a “spirit of dialogue and tolerance”.

In Alexandria, opposition marchers said they feared the Brotherhood was usurping the revolution to entrench its power and Islamic law. Others had economic grievances, among them huge lines for fuel caused by supply problems and panic buying.

“I’ve nothing to do with politics, but with the state we’re in now, even a stone would cry out,” said 42-year-old accountant Mohamed Abdel Latif. “There are no services, we can’t find diesel or gasoline. We elected Mursi, but this is enough.

“Let him make way for someone else who can fix it.”

It is hard to gauge how many may turn out on Sunday, but even those sympathetic to Islamic ideas are frustrated by the economic slump and many blame the government.

Previous protest movements since the fall of Mubarak have failed to gather momentum, however, among a population anxious for stability and fearful of further economic hardship.

Snowden needs legal guarantees to return to U.S., father says
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden might voluntarily return to the United States if given assurances of his constitutional rights, his father said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.

Lonnie Snowden was “reasonably confident” his son, who faces espionage charges in the United States for alleged leaking of secret surveillance information, would return if certain conditions were met, the June 27 letter said. It was written by a lawyer on Snowden’s behalf, and was obtained by Reuters.

The younger Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency, should

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Dole pineapple factory has 34 new Covid-19 cases, 413 total

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Chinese Sinovac vaccine debuts in Singapore to high demand

Drugs7 hours ago

Drug smuggler caught in Kalasin with 300 kg of marijuana

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Politics8 hours ago

Amendment to reform Constitution rejected by Parliament

Medical9 hours ago

Gender Health Clinic opens in Bangkok for transgender needs

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

30 million baht added to vaccine side effects compensation fund

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Plan for 16-week gap between AstraZeneca vaccines dropped

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

CCSA: 120 day reopening will proceed with conditions

Tourism14 hours ago

Sandbox latest, CCSA says all regions reopening must reach 70% local vaccination

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,667 new infections and 32 deaths

Politics18 hours ago

Thamanat elected to role of head ‘fixer’ in Palang Pracharat party

Expats1 day ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Thailand1 day ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending