10 Killed, 13 injured in Egypt Uprising Anniv.

10 Killed, 13 injured  in Egypt Uprising Anniv.10 Killed, 13 injured  in Egypt Uprising Anniv.

Egypt introduced tougher security measures in Cairo and other cities Sunday as protests marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak turned violent.

Egyptian security officials said clashes between police and protesters in an eastern Cairo district left at least 10 demonstrators dead. They said the Sunday clashes in the Matariyah area also injured 13.

Two police officers were injured by shrapnel when a roadside bomb exploded in an eastern Cairo district and a gas pipeline was blown up in a Nile Delta province, according to security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, AP said in a report.

Cairo, a city of some 18 million people, appeared mostly deserted Sunday, with many residents staying home to avoid being caught up in any turmoil.

The protests and the stepped-up security came as activists mourned the death of a female protester shot Saturday in downtown Cairo while taking part in a gathering commemorating the nearly 900 protesters killed in the 2011 revolt.

  Police to Blame

Activists blame police for the death of Shaimaa el-Sabagh, a 32-year-old mother of one from Alexandria. The government says it is investigating.

Videos posted online show el-Sabagh, a member of the leftist Popular Alliance party, with other protesters carrying placards and chanting “bread, freedom and social justice” - the chief slogan of the 2011 uprising. She and others carried wreaths of roses they intended to place at nearby Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the uprising, in memory of the fallen protesters.

In the videos, gunshots ring out and el-Sabagh falls. She is later shown carried by another protester as blood seeped out of her mouth.

El-Sabagh’s death is the second of a female protester in recent days. Another female protester, 18, was killed on Friday in clashes in Alexandria. Activists also blame the police.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government has shown zero tolerance for street protests since a law adopted in 2013 banned them without prior permission. Dozens of activists have been convicted and jailed for violating the law. A parallel crackdown is targeting supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, with thousands from his Muslim Brotherhood group imprisoned or facing trial.

The protests were mostly in response to a call for demonstrations made by an Islamist coalition opposed to el-Sissi and led by the Brotherhood.

Sunday’s protests came as police sealed off main squares in Cairo, including Tahrir, and beefed up security at vital state installations. The measures followed the discovery of at least 30 roadside bombs in Cairo and a string of other cities intended to be detonated Sunday, security officials said.

  Call for Protests

Qatar-based Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi called for protests in Egypt on the anniversary of the country’s Jan 25 uprising against Hosni Mubarak and said Mohamed Mursi is Egypt’s “legitimate” leader.

Al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric has been critical of Egypt’s military-backed government, accusing el-Sisi of betrayal for ousting President Mursi in 2013, a Muslim Brotherhood leader.

Qaradawi’s outspoken support for the movement has contributed to a diplomatic rift between Qatar and its Arab allies and Egypt, who consider the group a security threat and supported Mursi’s overthrow.

“I call on the people of Egypt, all those capable to go out of their houses on this great occasion. Egyptians should go out and express that they don’t want anything but the revolution they had started,” Qaradawi said in a video recording posted Sunday.

After the January 2011 uprising, Qaradawi said a fair and transparent election put Mursi in power.

The 2011 protests ousted Egyptian President Mubarak, after which Mursi was elected, taking office in June 2012. However, a further wave of protests against Mursi erupted, and the military forced him out of power a year later. Sisi, a former army chief, was elected president in May 2014.

Sporadic violence and protests broke out in Egypt on Sunday, but the country’s security forces moved quickly to disperse them.