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Found 20 results

  1. source: BBC CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to 25 years in prison in a final ruling over a case accusing him of spying for Qatar, judicial sources said. Morsi, democratically elected after Egypt?s 2011 revolution, was overthrown in mid-2013 by then-general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the president, following mass protests against his rule. He was immediately arrested. Egypt?s Court of Cassation reduced Morsi?s sentence in the Qatar case to 25 years in its final ruling, from an original 40 years. Morsi is already serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted for the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012. Since toppling Morsi, Sisi has clamped down on dissent. Mass trials have been held for thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and hundreds have received death sentences or lengthy prison terms. In 2014, Egypt charged Morsi and nine others with endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar. Egypt?s relations with Doha were already troubled by Qatar?s backing of Morsi. Egypt is one of four Arab nations in a Saudi-led bloc that cut relations with the Gulf state on June 5, accusing it of backing militant groups and cooperating with their arch-foe Iran, allegations Doha denies.
  2. LUXOR: Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a tomb of a prominent goldsmith who lived more than 3,000 years ago, unearthing statues, mummies and jewelry in the latest major find near the Nile city of Luxor. Egypt?s Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani said on Saturday the tomb dated back to Egypt?s 18th dynasty New Kingdom era -- around 15th century BC. ?The work did not finish yet and we?re continuing and working to find more objects and more tombs,? he told Reuters at the site. The site includes a courtyard and niche where a statue of the goldsmith Amenemhat and his wife and one of his sons, as well as two burial shafts, the ministry said in a statement. Earlier this year, authorities announced they had discovered another New Kingdom tomb in Luxor belonging to a judge, and Swedish archaeologists discovered 12 ancient cemeteries near the southern city of Aswan that date back almost 3,500 years. Egypt?s ancient relics are a draw for tourists and authorities hope new finds can also help attract more visitors. Tourism in Egypt suffered in the aftermath of the mass protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Militant bomb attacks have also deterred foreign visitors. Egypt?s tourism revenues jumped by 170 percent in the first seven months of 2017, reaching $3.5 billion, authorities said, in welcome news for an economy heavily reliant on the sector for foreign currency and jobs.
  3. An Egyptian antiquities worker is seen in the recently discovered tomb of Amenemhat, a goldsmith from the New Kingdom, at the Draa Abu-el Naga necropolis near the Nile city of Luxor, south of Cairo, Egypt, September 9, 2017. Photo: REUTERS LUXOR: Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a tomb of a prominent goldsmith who lived more than 3,000 years ago, unearthing statues, mummies and jewellery in the latest major find near the Nile city of Luxor. Egypt?s Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani said on Saturday the tomb dated back to Egypt?s 18th Dynasty New Kingdom era -- around 15th century B.C. ?The work did not finish yet and we?re continuing and working to find more objects and more tombs,? he told Reuters at the site. The site includes a courtyard and niche where a statue of the goldsmith Amenemhat and his wife and one of his sons, as well as two burial shafts, the ministry said in a statement. Earlier this year, authorities announced they had discovered another New Kingdom tomb in Luxor belonging to a judge, and Swedish archaeologists discovered 12 ancient cemeteries near the southern city of Aswan that date back almost 3,500 years. Egypt?s ancient relics are a draw for tourists and authorities hope new finds can also help attract more visitors. Tourism in Egypt suffered in the aftermath of the mass protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Militant bomb attacks have also deterred foreign visitors. Egypt?s tourism revenues jumped by 170 percent in the first seven months of 2017, reaching $3.5 billion, authorities said, in welcome news for an economy heavily reliant on the sector for foreign currency and jobs.
  4. Protesters display placards during a rally to support press freedom in Hong Kong on March 2, 2014. AFP/Philippe Lopez CAIRO: Egypt has blocked access to the website of media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), adding the organisation to a growing list of restricted online sites in the North African country. The Paris-based group said Thursday its website was blocked on August 14, shortly after it had issued a statement condemning the ongoing detention of an Egyptian photojournalist. "This is the first time that the RSF site has been blocked in Egypt,? Alexandra El Khazen ? the head of RSF?s Middle East desk ? said, according to Middle East Eye. ?This extensive digital blackout in Egypt is not just a grave attack on freedom of information. It [is] also indicative of a fear on the part of the regime that an informed public could pose a threat to its stability,? the publication added. Egypt has blocked more than 100 websites since May, including media sites seen as critical of the government. Rights groups have repeatedly accused former army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of stifling dissent. In the 2017 press freedom index published by MSF, Egypt ranked 161st out of 180 countries.
  5. Egyptians look at the crash of two trains that collided near the Khorshid station in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt, August 11, 2017. REUTERS/Osama Nageb Two trains collided in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria on Friday killing 42 people and injuring 133 others, the health ministry said. A witness said the trains rose into the air "forming a pyramid" as they slammed into each other just outside a suburban station in the Mediterranean port city. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered an inquiry into the crash, which left bodies strewn on the ground as rescue teams worked to pull the dead and injured from the wrecked carriages. The collision at 2:15 PM (5:15 PM PST), near Khorshid station at the edge of Alexandria, derailed the engine of one train and two cars of the other, the Egyptian Railway Authority said. A railroad switching error was the most likely cause, a security source said without giving further details. Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said "human error" led to the collision but did not elaborate. "In order to avoid it, we have to develop the infrastructure," he told state television. A project was under way to improve the area's facilities, but such plans took time and money, he said. Hoda ? a resident ? was standing on her rooftop when she saw the trains plough into each other. "They rose in the air forming a pyramid when they collided," she said. "I started to scream from the rooftops for people to grab some sheets and run." "The train I was riding was going very quickly," said passenger Moumen Youssef. "I found myself on the floor. When we came out, we found four train cars crushed and a lot of people on the ground." Egyptians have long complained that successive governments failed to enforce basic safeguards for the railways. A string of crashes have further inflamed public anger over the antiquated transport network. In 2012, a train rammed into a school bus south of Cairo and killed 50 people, mostly children. In Egypt's worst train disaster, a fire tore through seven carriages of an overcrowded passenger train in 2002, killing at least 360 people.
  6. source: Reuters CAIRO: Two trains collided in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria on Friday killing 36 people and injuring more than 100 others, a health ministry spokesman said. The crash at 2:15 p.m near the suburban Khorshid station on the route to Cairo, derailed the engine of one train and two cars of the other, the Egyptian Railway Authority said. A railroad switching error was the most likely cause of the collision, a security source said. He gave no further details. State newspaper al-Ahram said 36 bodies had arrived at hospital morgues in Alexandria province. Public prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered an urgent investigation, it said. A medical official told state TV some wounded people were still stuck in the trains. Footage on state television showed dozens of people crowding around the damaged train cars, with bodies strewn on the ground. "The train I was riding was going very quickly," said passenger Moumen Youssef. "I found myself on the floor. When we came out, we found four train cars crushed and a lot of people on the ground." In 2012, 50 people - mostly children - were killed when a train crashed into a school bus south of Cairo, further inflaming public anger at authorities over Egypt's antiquated transport network.
  7. Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is to invest more than $800 million in hotels in Egypt, the investment ministry in Cairo said on Monday. The announcement came after parliament in May adopted a new law aimed at attracting foreign investment as the authorities seek to reinvigorate the North African country's struggling economy. The ministry said in a statement that Bin Talal told Investment Minister Sahar Nasr in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that he would invest in hotels in several locations. Tourism in the Arab world's most populous nation has yet to bounce back from before the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. The fall in tourist arrivals worsened after the Daesh group said it bombed a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from Sharm el-Sheikh in 2015 in a crash that killed all 224 people on board. The Saudi investment would include expanding the Four Seasons resort in Sharm in the southern Sinai, transforming it into "the biggest resort in the world", the ministry said. New hotels would also be built in the Mediterranean town of El-Alamein and in Madinaty east of Cairo. The ministry said the amount of Saudi investment was "expected to surpass about $800 million", and the projects would be carried out with Egyptian real estate developer Talaat Moustafa Group.
  8. ESNA: A policeman and a civilian were killed and three people wounded in an attack late on Thursday on a patrol in Esna, south of Luxor, the Interior Ministry said. The police patrol had stopped a vehicle and when stopped, two gunmen fired on the patrol, the ministry said in a statement. One of the perpetrators were arrested while the other fled, the ministry said, adding that the wounded have been transferred to hospital. Attacks on security forces have been common in Egypt since the army, led by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
  9. Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Budapest, July 3, 2017. AFP/Attila Kisbenedek CAIRO: Egypt has created a "national council" to combat the rise of extremist "terrorism" that has targeted its security forces and Coptic Christian minority, in a presidential decree issued on Wednesday. The decree ? published in Egypt's official gazette ? sets up a "national council to combat terrorism and extremism" by adopting a "global national strategy". The council is to be chaired by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and will comprise the Sheikh of Al-Azhar ? the highest religious authority in Egypt ? and its Coptic pope, as well as the parliament speaker, premier, and cabinet members, including the youth and sports minister. A primary task of the high-powered panel will be to develop "job opportunities in the regions hit by extremism", to examine the prospects for industrial zones and of amendments to existing legislation. Egypt has been fighting an insurgency waged by Daesh, which is based in North Sinai province, where hundreds of soldiers and policemen have been killed since the military's ouster in 2013 of Sisi's radical predecessor Mohamed Morsi. At the same time, new groups have attacked security forces in other parts of the country, including the Hasam group ? an extremist movement the government says is linked to Morsi's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Daesh militants have killed dozens of Copts in church bombings and shooting attacks in Egypt since December, and the group has threatened further attacks.
  10. A masked Palestinian stands next to a burning tyre during clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank village of Khobar near Ramallah, July 22, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman LONDON: Sweden, France, and Egypt have requested an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss ways to address the deadliest outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence for years, a Swedish diplomat said on Saturday. "Sweden, France & Egypt request #UNSC to urgently discuss how calls for de-escalation in #Jerusalem can be supported," Carl Skau, the country's ambassador to the Security Council, said on Twitter. Skau then tweeted three hours later, "Important statement by #Quartet Envoys on volatile situation in #Jerusalem."
  11. RAWALPINDI: Egypt defeated Pakistan in the four-day international squash series 3-2, the final match of which was witnessed by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex Islamabad on Sunday. In the last two matches of the series played on Sunday, Pakistan's Israr Ahmad and Farhan Mehboob beat Egypt's Aboulghar and Karim Abdel Gawad respectively. General Bajwa, the chief guest, witnessed the final match and closing ceremony of the Pakistan-Egypt International Squash Series 2017. He awarded trophies to the winners and runners up of the tournament. Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi, senior vice president of Pakistan Squash Federation, former squash legends Qamar Zaman, Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan, along with a large number of squash lovers witnessed the series. Earlier on his arrival, Air Marshal Asad Lodhi, vice chief of the air staff, received the chief guest.
  12. It’s official. 'Assassin’s Creed' is back and its official trailer was released at E3 last night where Ubisoft showed how the game has re-invented itself. The game has a new combat system and is a true open world RPG when compared to previous iterations. Your character is Bayek, who is basically an Egyptian police officer who is tasked with protecting the people of Egypt from local and foreign threats. The game is a origin story of how the Brotherhood was formed and the story is a far cry from what we are accustomed to from 'Assassin Creed' games. The game is no longer an action game as it embraces the RPG model to take the franchise further. © Ubisoft The game puts a heavy emphasis on exploration and you also need to craft your weapons and armour in order to progress in the story.The game is heavily populated with NPCs and animals that bring Ancient Egypt to life. Being an open world game, it has a series of side quests for players to complete in any order. The game has a brand new skill tree that unlocks key abilities and improve combat as you upgrade your character. There are three categories where you can upgrade skills i.e. warrior, rogue and archer. These skills can be customised and can be used in various combinations much like in a true RPG such as 'Fallout'. © Ubisoft The combat system has also changed where you will need to plan your movements and time your counters in order to defeat your enemies. This time around 'Origins' has actual boss fights where you an use the environment to your advantage to inflict major damage. 'Assassin’s Creed: Origins' will launch on October 27 and will also support 4K gaming on the Xbox One X. We can be assured that more gameplay and story trailers will be revealed closer to the launch date. You can watch the full reveal trailer below: For more news on 'Assassin’s Creed: Origins', make sure you keep a look out for more features in the Technology section of MensXP.com
  13. Assassin's Creed is taking the serial's storyline back to an ancient world and overhauling play to reignite its top franchise. Photo: Assassin's Creed LOS ANGELES: Ubisoft´s blockbuster Assassin´s Creed video game is heading for Egypt, taking the serial´s storyline back to an ancient world and overhauling play to reignite its top franchise. The French video game star took last year off after hitting the market with annual releases and boasting overall sales of more than 110 million copies of the game since it first launched in 2007. A cooling in fan interest appeared to prompt a step back, and an investment by Ubisoft to revitalise it was unveiled at a press event Monday ahead of the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. Work on Assassin´s Creed: Origins began nearly four years ago, and included overhauling the combat system and building artificial intelligence into all of the non-player characters, according to game producer Julien Laferriere. Every character has a "life" of its own, tending to work, worship, family, meals and other daily routines that players can take into account while on missions, an early glimpse at the game showed. Players are also free to explore a virtual version of all of Egypt in 49 BC, during the rise of Cleopatra to the throne. "It is a part of world history we have wanted to do for a long time," Laferriere said. "We wanted to be as authentic as we could." Players get to climb pyramids, explore beneath the Sphinx, and learn the origins of the brotherhood of assassins, whose deadly fight with the order of Templars is at the core of the franchise that segues from one generation of master assassin to another. "Fans will have a front row seat to the formation of the brotherhood," Laferriere promised. Ubisoft hopes Origins will energise long-time fans and win new players at the start of the story in a game that has become fodder for books and films. Versions of Origins tailored for play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows-powered personal computers will be released on October 27. South Park and Mario Assassin´s Creed was among a diverse line-up Ubisoft is showing off this week at E3. Ubisoft offerings spanned genres, from action shooters such as Far Cry 5, to sports, dance, piracy, a space monkey, and virtual reality. A Fractured But Whole based on an irreverent South Park animated television series opens with well-known children characters obsessed with being super heroes sneaking into a strip club to solve the mystery of a missing cat. Their weapons include flatulence and firecrackers. "The South Park universe doesn´t take itself too seriously, so you can be satirical," game director Jason Schroeder told AFP while providing a peek at the game, which also releases on October 17. "You can take the notion of something like a strip club and turn it on its head." Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto joined Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot on stage at a press event to unveil an innovative alliance with Nintendo to unite its zany Rabbids with beloved Mario in a game. "I have been excited to see what kind of humor the Rabbids could bring to the Mario world," Miyamoto said through an interpreter. Getting into heads The game maker continued its tradition of embracing hardware innovations, showing off games crafted for Nintendo´s hot-selling and tough to find Switch consoles as well as the budding virtual reality gear market. "We have been experimenting with virtual reality for several year," said Ubisoft partnerships vice president Chris Early. "Though it is not taking off as fast as any of us would like, it is providing some great learning about what it means for having fun." A Transference game being readied by Ubisoft´s studio in Montreal for release next year used Oculus Rift head gear to put players into the mind of a psychological trauma victim. The thriller game challenges them to relive memories and solve the puzzle of what happened, a demonstration showed. "We all have secrets that we don´t want anyone to discover," said executive director Caroline Martin of Ubisoft Montreal. "So, what would happen when a stranger comes into the digital equivalent of another mind? It is a powerful and very personal experience."
  14. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/5d7a2721f23d9beeb23d64224bb39cf1.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Ni81LzIwMTcgOToyNzo1NSBBTSZoYXNoX3ZhbHVlPWt0cG1YczhMRW1JU2R3NDRER2VJUHc9PSZ2YWxpZG1pbnV0ZXM9NjAmaWQ9MQ== style=center] Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world. Iran?long at odds with Saudi Arabia?immediately blamed US President Donald Trump for setting the stage during his recent trip to Riyadh. Gulf Arab states and Egypt have already long resented Qatar's support for extremists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood which they regard as a dangerous political enemy. The coordinated move, with Yemen and Libya's eastern-based government joining in later, created a dramatic rift among the Arab nations, many of which are in OPEC. Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave. Qatar was also expelled from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. Major airlines announce end to Qatar-bound flights Doha responds in kind by banning all flights to Saudi Arabia Oil giant Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of backing militant groups?some backed by regional arch-rival Iran?and broadcasting their ideology, an apparent reference to Qatar's influential state-owned satellite channel al Jazeera. "(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly," Saudi state news agency SPA said. It accused Qatar of supporting what it described as Iranian-backed militants in its restive and largely Shi'ite Muslim-populated Eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain. Iran saw America pulling the strings. "What is happening is the preliminary result of the sword dance," Hamid Aboutalebi, deputy chief of staff of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted in a reference to Trump's recent visit to Saudi Arabia. Trump and other US officials participated in a traditional sword dance during the trip in which he called on Muslim countries to stand united against religious extremists and singled out Iran as a key source of funding and support for militant groups. Qatar Airways retaliate, suspend flights to Saudia Arabia Qatar denounces 'unjustified' cut of Gulf ties, read a statement US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Sydney on Monday that the spat would not affect the fight against religious militants and that Washington has encouraged its Gulf allies to resolve their differences. A split between Doha and its closest allies can have repercussions around the Middle East, where Gulf states have used their financial and political power to influence events in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Fallout The economic fallout loomed immediately, as Abu Dhabi's state-owned Ethihad Airways, Dubai's Emirates Airline and budget carrier Flydubai said they would suspend all flights to and from Doha from Tuesday morning until further notice. Qatar Airways said on its official website it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia. Qatar's stock market index sank 7.5 percent with some of the market's top blue chips hardest hit. The measures are more severe than during a previous eight-month rift in 2014, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, again alleging Qatari support for militant groups. At that time, travel links were maintained and Qataris were not expelled. The diplomatic broadside threatens the international prestige of Qatar, which hosts a large US military base and is set to host the 2022 World Cup. It has for years presented itself as a mediator and power broker for the region's many disputes. Defeating terrorism our mutual goal, Trump says in Saudi summit The session was earlier addressed by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia 'Lies, fabrications': Qatar Qatar said on Monday it was facing a campaign of lies and fabrications aimed at putting the Gulf Arab state under guardianship, after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with it. "The campaign of incitement is based on lies that had reached the level of complete fabrications," the Qatari foreign ministry said. It added that, as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, it was committed to its charter, respected the sovereignty of other states and did not interfere in their affairs. Pakistan to stay away from conflict Pakistan has no immediate plans to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said on Monday. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nafees Zakria The country "has no such plans," the spokesman, Nafees Zakaria, said, following the severing of ties with Qatar by Islamabad's key ally, Saudi Arabia, and three other Middle East nations. "At the moment there is nothing on Qatar issue, (we) will issue a statement if some development takes place," Zakaria said. Pakistan in recent years has been caught between the feud between its ally Saudi Arabia and neighbour Iran. FIFA World Cup 2022 in 'danger' The measures are more severe than during a previous eight-month rift in 2014, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, again alleging Qatari support for militant groups. At that time, travel links were maintained and Qataris were not expelled. A split between Doha and its closest allies can have repercussions around the Middle East, where Gulf states have used their financial and political power to influence events in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The diplomatic broadside threatens the international prestige of Qatar, which hosts a large US military base and is set to host the 2022 World Cup. It has for years presented itself as a mediator and power broker for the region's many disputes. Warships of the US Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, in May 2007. Photo: Reuters Kristian Ulrichsen, a Gulf expert at the US-based Baker Institute, said if Qatar's land borders and air space were closed for any length of time "it would wreak havoc on the timeline and delivery" of the World Cup. Arab Spring Qatar has used its media and political clout to support long-repressed groups during the 2011 pro-democracy "Arab Spring" uprisings in several Arab countries. Muslim Brotherhood parties allied to Doha are now mostly on the backfoot in the region, especially after a 2013 military takeover in Egypt ousted the elected president. The former army chief and now president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, along with the new government's allies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, blacklist the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation. Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, said on its state news agency that Qatar's policy "threatens Arab national security and sows the seeds of strife and division within Arab societies according to a deliberate plan aimed at the unity and interests of the Arab nation." Oil prices rose after the moves against Qatar, which is the biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a major seller of condensate - a low-density liquid fuel and refining product derived from natural gas. Iran says decision not help resolve Middle East crisis A senior Iranian official said on Monday the decision by some Gulf Arab states and Egypt to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar would not help end the crisis in the Middle East. "The era of cutting diplomatic ties and closing borders ... is not a way to resolve crisis ... As I said before, aggression and occupation will have no result but instability," Hamid Aboutalebi, deputy chief of staff of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted on Monday.
  15. Ambulances and medics outside Maghagha Hospital in Minya Province, Egypt in this screen grab take on May 26, 2017. REUTERS TV Gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians travelling to a monastery in southern Egypt on Friday, killing 28 people and wounding 25 others, and many children were among the victims, Health Ministry officials said. Eyewitnesses said masked men opened fire after stopping the Christians, who were travelling in a bus and other vehicles. Local television channels showed a bus apparently raked by gunfire and smeared with blood. Clothes and shoes could be seen lying in and around the bus. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan. It followed a series of church bombings claimed by Daesh. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called a meeting of security officials, the state news agency said, and the cabinet said the attackers would not succeed in dividing the nation. Muslim leaders condemned the killings. The grand imam of al-Azhar, Egypt's 1,000-year-old centre of Islamic learning, said the attack was intended to destabilise the country. "I call on Egyptians to unite in the face of this brutal terrorism," Ahmed al-Tayeb said from Germany, where he was on a visit. The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, condemned the perpetrators as traitors. The Coptic church said it had received news of the killing of its "martyrs" with pain and sorrow. The attack took place on a road leading to the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Minya province, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority. An Interior Ministry spokesman said the unidentified gunmen had arrived in three four-wheel-drive vehicles. Security forces launched a hunt for the attackers, setting up dozens of checkpoints and patrols on the desert road. Coptic Christians, whose church dates back nearly 2,000 years, make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 92 million. They say they have long suffered from persecution, but in recent months the frequency of deadly attacks against them has increased. About 70 have been killed since December in bombings claimed by Daesh at churches in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta. A Daesh campaign of murders in North Sinai prompted hundreds of Christians to flee in February and March. Copts fear they will face the same fate as brethren in Iraq and Syria, where Christian communities have been decimated by wars and Daesh persecution. The government is fighting insurgents affiliated to Daesh who have killed hundreds of police and soldiers in the Sinai peninsula, while also carrying out attacks elsewhere in the country.
  16. Egypt has banned 21 websites, including the main website of Qatar-based Al Jazeera television, for "supporting terrorism", state news agency MENA and security sources said on Wednesday. Reuters tried to access five websites named by local Egyptian newspapers and broadcasters, including the Al Jazeera website, and found them all inaccessible. There was no immediate official comment available. An official from the National Telecom Regulatory Authority could not confirm or deny the news, but said: "So what if it is true? It should not be a problem." MENA cited a senior security source as saying the websites, which also included some Egypt-focused websites hosted abroad such as Masr Al Arabiya that the government says are financed by Qatar, were blocked because they supported terrorism. "A senior security source said 21 websites have been blocked inside Egypt for having content that supports terrorism and extremism as well (as) publishing lies," MENA said. The security source said legal action would be taken against the websites, MENA reported. Two security sources told Reuters the websites were blocked for being affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood or for being funded by Qatar. Cairo accused Qatar of supporting the Brotherhood, which was ousted from power in Egypt in 2013 when the military removed elected President Mohamed Mursi following mass protests against his rule. However, Mada Masr, an Egyptian news website based inside the country which describes itself as progressive, was also inaccessible on Wednesday. The Huffington Post's Arabic website also was inaccessible, although the international version was accessible. Mada and the Huffington Post were not named by security sources - who said there were 21 websites but named only five - as part of the list of blocked websites. The block follows similar actions taken earlier on Wednesday by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who got into a war of words with Qatar and blocked Al Jazeera and other websites. Qatar said hackers had posted fake remarks by its emir against US foreign policy but the Saudi and UAE state-run media reported the comments anyway.
  17. Egyptian archaeologists have discovered 17 mummies in desert catacombs in Minya province, an "unprecedented" find for the area south of Cairo, the antiquities ministry announced Saturday. Archaeologists found the non-royal mummies in a series of corridors after following the trail of burial shafts in the Touna-Gabal district of the central Egyptian province, the ministry said in a statement. Along with the mummies, they found a golden sheet and two papyri in Demotic -- an ancient Egyptian script -- as well as a number of sarcophogi made of limestone and clay. There were also animal and bird coffins, the ministry said. But the mummies have not yet been dated. The ministry said they belonged to the Late Period, which spanned almost 300 years up to Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt in 332 BC. But a spokeswoman told AFP they could also date from the Ptolemaic Dynasty, founded by Alexander the Great's general Ptolemy. The discovery of the non-royal mummies is considered unprecedented because it is the first such find in the area, officials said at the site. Egyptologist Salah al-Kholi told a news conference held near the desert site that the discovery was "the first human necropolis found in central Egypt with so many mummies". It could herald even more discoveries in the area, he said. The discovery was "important, unprecedented," Mohamed Hamza, director of excavations for Cairo University said. The site is close to an ancient animal cemetery. "The discovery is still at its beginning," Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told reporters. It was the second discovery of mummies announced with much fanfare by the government in less than a month. In April, the ministry invited reporters to the southern city of Luxor to unveil eight mummies discovered in a 3,500-year-old tomb belonging to a nobleman. For the cash-strapped Egyptian government, the discoveries are a boon from the country's glorious past as it struggles to attract tourists scared off by a series of Islamist militant attacks. "Antiquities are the soft power that distinguishes Egypt," Enany said. "News of antiquities are the things that attract the world to Egypt." Millions of tourists visited Egypt every year to see its Giza Pyramids -- the only surviving monument of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World -- and its ancient pharaonic temples and relics. But a popular uprising in 2011 that overthrew veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak ushered in years of unrest that battered the economy and drove away tourists.
  18. CAIRO: Unidentified gunmen attacked an Egyptian police convoy near the main ring road around Cairo, killing three officers and wounding five others, the interior ministry said early on Tuesday. "Armed elements riding in two vehicles approached a moving security convoy" around 11:45 pm Monday, the ministry said in a statement. The convoy was crossing a roundabout that intersects with the main ring road that surrounds the capital, separating New Cairo and newer real estate projects from the city. Police returned fire at the attackers' vehicles, which police were pursuing "in an effort to apprehend the perpetrators," the ministry said. While no one claimed responsibility for the attack, Egypt has been fighting an insurgency by a local affiliate of the Daesh in North Sinai province. Hundreds of soldiers and policemen have been killed in the insurgency since the army overthrew president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Following deadly church bombings last month, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency on April 10. Daesh said it was behind the church bombings in Tanta and Alexandria on April 9 that killed 45 people. The military has killed several of the group's top leaders, but the extremists have increasingly expanded their attacks from Sinai to other parts of Egypt, including Cairo.
  19. Pope Francis pleaded for peace in a visit to Egypt on Friday as he attended a service in solidarity with the embattled Coptic minority at a church bombed by Daesh. The pontiff walked to the Saint Peter and Saint Paul church in Cairo in a procession led by standard-bearing clergy, after meeting Coptic Pope Tawadros II at his headquarters. Security forces in the capital were on high alert under a state of emergency following a series of church bombings claimed by IS. On April 9, the militants bombed two churches in the Arab world's most populous country, killing 45 people in the deadliest attack on Copts in recent memory. Last December, the Saint Peter and Saint Paul church was itself targeted by a suicide bomber in an attack that killed 29 people. Francis had earlier met President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of the Al-Azhar institution, one of Muslim world's leading authorities, to push for dialogue between the two faiths. In a speech to a Muslim-Christian conference, the 80-year-old pontiff denounced violence and populism. "Peace alone... is holy and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name," Francis said. He criticised what he called "demagogic forms of populism... on the rise", saying they were unhelpful to peace. Francis shuttled from one engagement to another in a closed car under heavy guard on the first day of his tightly scheduled 27-hour trip. Innocent blood Police and soldiers stood guard outside the Vatican residence in Cairo and armoured cars were stationed outside the Coptic Orthodox Saint Mark's Cathedral, where Tawadros II's headquarters are located. Francis met the Coptic pope at his offices where the two exchanged gifts. "Our church and nation has been through a painful experience in the past few months when the sinful hand of terrorism reached out to murder praying innocents," Tawadros said in a speech at the meeting. "Their innocent blood unites us," Francis said in turn. They signed an ecumenical agreement to no longer require Catholics to be rebaptised if they choose to become Orthodox, as often happens in Egypt. He and Tawadros then walked in procession to the Saint Peter and Saint Paul church, where they sat near the altar as a choir sang hymns to clashing cymbals. Hours before the church visit, Francis became the first Roman Catholic pope to visit the head of Al-Azhar in his Cairo headquarters, sealing a recent improvement in relations between Catholicism and Islam. In another speech with Sisi in the audience, Francis expressed support for Egypt's military campaign against IS which bombed the churches and has also killed hundreds of police and troops. But he also insisted on "unconditional respect for inalienable human rights such as equality among all citizens, religious freedom and freedom of expression". Sisi has faced heavy criticism from rights groups for abuses since he led the military ouster of his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Pilgrim of peace Before disembarking from his aircraft in Cairo, Francis had told reporters his visit was a "journey of unity and fraternity. Less than two days but very intense." His meeting with Tayeb, he said, would "be an example and a model for peace precisely because it will be a meeting of dialogue". "Please pray for my journey tomorrow as a pilgrim of peace to Egypt," Francis tweeted on the eve of his departure. Before his visit, some roads had been festooned with posters showing Francis against the backdrop of the Pyramids, with a message that read: "Pope of peace in the Egypt of peace." John Paul II was the last pope to have visited Egypt in 2000, with his arrival also coming weeks after anti-Christian violence that killed about 20 Copts in January that year. Vatican dialogue with the Muslim world, a priority for this pope, was set back significantly when Francis's predecessor Benedict XVI made a speech in 2006 in which he was seen as linking Islam to violence. The now-retired German pontiff's 2011 comments condemning an attack on a Coptic church prompted Al-Azhar to denounce Benedict for meddling in Egypt's affairs. On Saturday, the pontiff will preside over a mass for the country's small Catholic community, estimated to number around 272,000 spread across various rites. Egypt's Copts, who make up about 10 percent of the country's population of 92 million, are the Middle East's largest Christian minority and one of the oldest. But they have suffered attacks throughout the years and many complain that they feel like second-class citizens.
  20. On March 11th 2017, German and Egyptian archeologists made a discovery that is being hailed as the most colossal discovery of the millennium. The best part is it that it was not discovered at an excavation site. Parts of a massive 3000-year-old statue depicting the legendary Pharaoh Ramses II, was found in the slums of Matariya in Cairo. The recovered bust and head of the antique statue measures 8 meters in length and is made of quartzite. Talk about a rare and amazing find. What makes this such a big deal is that the fact that Ramses II was the greatest Pharaoh to ever rule the Egyptians. The discovery is supposed to boost Egyptian tourism which has taken a serious beating in the past few years.