Egypt: Violence overshadows third anniversary of anti-Mubarak uprising

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Egypt: Violence overshadows third anniversary of anti-Mubarak uprising

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It is exactly three years since the start of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

But Egypt is reflecting on today’s anniversary amid an upsurge in militant violence, raising fears that an Islamist insurgency is gathering pace.

Back in 2011, as soldiers joined their ranks, protesters in Tahrir Square were full of hope as their movement forced the long-time president out of office.

Activist Mayar Abdel Aziz was one of them and despite tumultuous times in Egypt since then, she remembers the reasons why change was so important.

“I think that what brought us all together on January 25 was the police violence, and no one can deny that,” she said. “Also, issues to do with the dignity of the Egyptian people – their right to proper housing, education, nutrition and healthcare.”

Friday however, the eve of the anniversary, was marked by blasts in Cairo that left six people dead and dozens more injured.

In the most high-profile attack, a car bomb exploded at a security compound and killed at least four people, including three policemen, security sources said. The nearby Museum of Islamic Art was badly damaged.

More violence is feared today with rival supporters of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the president he ousted, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi, set to turn out.