Islamists surround Wafd Party, newspaper

Islamists surround Wafd Party, newspaper

On

Sat, 15/12/2012 - 21:25

Hundreds of Islamists gathered around the Wafd Party headquarters in Dokki on Saturday night, chanting loudly and using fireworks, Egypt Independent witnessed.

Shortly after, gunshots were heard and tear gas bombs were thrown in the area. Magdy Sarhan, the editor of Al-Wafd daily, told CBC satellite channel that party members were trapped inside the building.

Although the identity of the attackers was not clear, members of the Wafd Party accused Hazemoun, the followers of Salafi sheikh and former presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, of perpetrating an attack against them.

But Fouad Badrawy, secretary general of the party, denied earlier that the party received any threats. In statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Badrawy said that the Central Security Forces sent eight cars to secure the headquarters from potential threats. 

After the attack, CSF soldiers were deployed outside the headquarters and dispersed the protesters.

The Popular Current, former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi’s political party, reported that the Hazemoun group has been circulating a call for a gathering in Mohandiseen to besiege the headquarters of the current on Facebook.

Similarly, Muslim Brotherhood member Essam al-Erian told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the security should be held responsible for the attacks "because they have been weak in following thugs and trouble makers."

Representatives of the current added in a statement that some members received phone threats about supporters of Abu Ismail intending to invade their headquarters. They held the government responsible for any attack on them.

 

Meanwhile, Ahmad Helmy, head of general security, told Al-Hayat satellite channel that initial investigations show that the perpetrators of the attacks on the party belong to the Hazemoun group. He said that the group had initially headed to the Popular Current's headquarters, and were followed by security forces there. Then they left, heading to the Wafd Party where they were also followed by security forces. There, he added, the group started using firearms and the police fired tear gas in response. 

The privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm and Al-Watan newspapers have also received threats of attacks by Islamist groups, sources within both organizations said. The Hazemoun group had just ended a sit-in at the Media Production City with the aim of purging media of anti-Islamist propaganda, they said.