At 5:30 yesterday morning, Egyptian security forces entered the town of Kerdasa, 14 miles west of Cairo and only 3 miles from the Pyramids of Giza. Since the ousting of president Morsi in July, Kerdasa has become a stronghold for Islamic militants who oppose the coup. This raid comes after another raid that occurred earlier this week in the southern Egyptian city of Dalga.
Security forces are acting in response to an attack from militants against the Kerdasa police station, which occurred in mid-August. In this attack, a mob killed 15 policemen and mutilated their corpses – dragging them behind vehicles, scalping them, and even pouring acid on one officer. This attack was in response to security forces cracking down on pro-Morsi camps occupying the capital of Cairo, a crackdown that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of individuals.
Security forces were greeted with gunfire from rooftops as soon as they entered the town. Police General Nabil Farrag was killed by gunfire almost immediately. Farraq had just finished giving his fellow officers a rallying-speech, in which he stated, “Let’s go, men! Go in, toward martyrdom.” Besides the death of Farraq, 10 other officers were injured in two separate grenade attacks.
Despite the fact that security forces had to take cover due to the initial onslaught of firing from the militants, the forces were still able to use their training and forces to overwhelm the rebel group. Police were able to arrest 55 people in house-to-house raids, including 3 men who were suspected in committing the original attack against the Kerdasa police station in August.
The raids against Dalga and Kerdasa are the government’s most recent attempts to gain some semblance of order and civility in a country that has been facing great civil unrest since the ousting of Mubarak in 2011. Mubarak was replaced by Morsi, who was then quickly ousted by the Egyptian military due to his close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt was the first country (along with Tunisia) to experience the revolutionary actions that would become known as the Arab Spring. While several countries have made progress during this time, Egypt has seemed to be stuck in a quagmire of ineptitude and violence. Egypt, being perhaps the most powerful amd internationally involved country in the region, serves as an guiding example to many other smaller countries in the area. If Egypt was able to finally achieve stability and create progress, perhaps they would be able to use their diplomatic and economic sway to help other countries achieve the goals of their revolutions as well.
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