Chronology: Egypt

Article excerpt

Apr. 16: Clashes in Alexandria between Muslims and Copts continued for the third day after three knife attacks at Coptic churches on April 14. TWo thousand riot police cordoned off the Saints Church in Alexandria after a reported 200 men left after services carrying weapons. The Egyptian government blamed Mahmoud Salah-Eddin Abdel-Raziq, whom it said was "deranged," for all three of the original knife attacks. [BBC, 4/16]

Apr. 17: Authorities announced the arrest of 43 students at Assyut University for suspected membership in the officially banned Muslim Brotherhood. The arrests brought the number of Brotherhood members arrested since March to almost 100. [Al-Jazeera, 4/ 17]

A group of 50 Egyptian judges began a sit-in to protest the government's prosecution of two of their colleagues, Hesham Bastawisi and Mahmud Mekki, for speaking out against fraudulent returns in the 2005 Parliamentary election. The protest was set to continue until April 27. [BBC, 4/ 20]

Apr. 18: The Egyptian government announced the break up of an Islamist group operating outside Cairo, which called itself the Victorious Group. The group had been accumulating instructions over the internet on how to assemble explosives, and had attempted to purchase land outside Cairo for use as a training ground for militants. [AlJazeera, 4/18]

Apr. 24: Cairo police broke up a sit-in by 50 pro-reform judges at the Judges' Syndicate headquarters, arresting 15 and beating one senior judge badly enough to send him to the hospital. [BBC, 4/24]

Nineteen people were killed and 90 wounded by three separate bombs targeting the central areas of Dahab, a tourist town on the eastern side of the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai has been a target for bombings, and the latest attack followed explosions in the Sinai towns of Taba in 2004 and Sharm al-Shaykh in 2005. [BBC, 4/25]

Apr. 25: Egyptian authorities detained ten people in connection with the series of bombings in the Sinai resort town of Dahab. Three of the ten had arrived in Dahab only a day before the attack, and attempted to leave the town in a car with false license plates only 15 minutes after the explosions. [AlJazeera, 4/25]

Apr. 30: At the request of the government, Egypt's Parliament agreed to a two-year extension of emergency laws in place since the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat which gave the government wide powers to detain suspects and limit public demonstrations. The Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups decried the announcement as a further delaying tactic by a government that had promised to abolish the laws and replace them with anti-terrorism legislation. …