A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Happened in Suez?

UPDATE: A photo from Suez, via Facebook:

UPDATE II: Unconfirmed claims that the Army has replaced the police in Suez.
This may not be true; the Army is rarely used internally. The 1977 food riots, the immediate days after the Sadat assassination, the police riots in 1986. And in some Upper Egypt tourist areas after the Luxor massacre. If the Army is actually used, even just in Suez, the regime is scared, and/or the police are losing. But the Army deployment is unconfirmed.

While all the cameras were focused on Cairo, I wondered why the fatalities yesterday were reported from Suez. Now there are reports of continuing serious clashes in Suez, of live ammunition being used,of more dead and perhaps hundreds injured. Separating rumor from truth is difficult, but there are reports that a government building and an NDP Party headquarters have been burned.

The canal cities haven't usually been centers of dissidence. It will be interesting to see why Suez seems to have exploded more violently than other cities.

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