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Thursday, September 18 2014 @ 04:38 AM CDT

Black Bloc: Egypt's Opposition Gets More Radical

Africa

Protests against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are becoming increasingly violent. One factor behind this is the founding of the "Black Bloc," a loosely organized group of activists that is not afraid to clash with the government.

Black Bloc: Egypt's Opposition Gets More Radical

By Daniel Steinvorth
February 6, 2013
Der Spiegel

They're suspicious -- five young Egyptians in hooded sweatshirts with their faces hidden, arms crossed and bodies in a defensive stance. "The media represents us as thugs," says one. "They say we're killing policemen and setting the country on fire, but we are just defending ourselves. The real aggressor is sitting in the presidential palace."

As Wednesday night turns to Thursday morning, fighting rages in the streets adjacent to Tahrir Square in Cairo -- just as has happened daily for the past week. Security forces and government opponents watch each other furtively, then the first stones are thrown and tear gas canisters fired.

Violence is increasing in the capital, but also in Alexandria, and everywhere else President Mohammed Morsi declared a state of emergency on Sunday of last week: Ismailia, Suez and Port Said. More than 60 people have been killed since Jan. 24, and hundreds have been injured. The protests against Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood have become more radical, and that due in part to a new phenomenon here: the Black Bloc.

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