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Egypt sees bloody day on fourth anniversary of uprising - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A car burns after commemorations of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising turned in to clashes in Matareya, Cairo, Egypt, on January 25, 2015. (EPA/Ahmed Taranh/Al-Masry Al-Youm)

A car burns after commemorations of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising turned in to clashes in Matareya, Cairo, Egypt, on January 25, 2015. (EPA/Ahmed Taranh/Al-Masry Al-Youm)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—At least 18 people were killed and 52 injured in clashes throughout Egypt on Sunday, on the fourth anniversary of the January 2011 revolution that toppled the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Hisham Ata, a member of the Emergencies Committee at the Ministry of Health, told Asharq Al-Awsat 14 police officers were also killed in the clashes, the bloodiest of which occurred in the Matareya district in northern Cairo, where protesters clashed with security services and police and burned cars and buildings.

The banned Muslim Brotherhood, which called for mass protests from its members on the anniversary of the uprising, said 14 members of the group had been killed in the clashes. The group had previously released a statement calling on its members to fill some of Egypt’s largest squares, including Tahrir and Rabaa Al-Adawiya, on the day of the anniversary in order to protest what it called “the return of the police state.”

The police and the army closed off the entrances to some of the largest squares and bridges in Cairo and boosted security around police and security buildings throughout, though some of these came under attack on Sunday.

The Interior Ministry said however it had foiled several bomb plots near security buildings in the Qalyubia and Beheira provinces as well as in Egypt’s second city, Alexandria. Security sources told Asharq Al-Awsat some 60 different explosive devices had been dismantled throughout the country on Sunday by bomb disposal teams.

Authorities in Egypt had canceled all official celebrations for the anniversary of the uprising, known in Egypt as the January 25 revolution, due to its coinciding with an official period of mourning for Saudi Arabia’s late monarch, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.

Egypt has experienced protests as well as a number of attacks on police and security buildings and personnel since the army, then led by current Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, helped oust former president and senior Brotherhood member Mohamed Mursi in July 2013. The government blames the Brotherhood for the attacks and banned the group in December of 2013.

Meanwhile, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, the sons of former president Hosni Mubarak, who had been facing charges of misusing state funds, were freed on Monday, almost four years after their initial incarceration along with their father.

Their four-year sentences were overturned earlier this month and a Cairo court ordered their release on bail late last week, though both men still face charges relating to insider trading. Their father remains in a military hospital in Cairo, though there is no legal basis for his detention after his conviction for ordering the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising was quashed on a technicality.