Egyptian army says it is beefing up security

AP News
Posted: Jan 22, 2016 10:53 AM

CAIRO (AP) — The Egyptian army announced Friday that it would beef up security measures to secure vital installations and "confront any attempt to violate the law, impact the nation's security and stability."

Friday's statement from the military comes amid an ongoing crackdown on dissent ahead of next week's 5th anniversary of the country's 2011 Arab Spring uprising. Authorities have raided and searched as many as 5,000 apartments in the past 10 days, primarily in central Cairo, seeking to prevent protests planned for Jan. 25.

Earlier on Friday, Egypt's affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in Cairo's twin city of Giza that killed at least six people, including three policemen. The Associated Press could not independently verify the claim, which was issued via a statement circulated by the group's sympathizers on social media Friday, however the design and logo resembled previous IS statements.

Egyptian authorities said the bombing took place on Thursday night during a security raid on an apartment in Giza where militants had been preparing explosives.

IS has claimed responsibility for multiple suicide bombings and attacks targeting the Egyptian army and police in the past year.

The army said in a statement that security patrols and special forces are helping police to secure public facilities, bridges, main roads and city centers.

Mass protests have led to the ouster of two Egyptian presidents in the last five years. Longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak was forced out in the original 2011 uprising. Two years later, more mass protests paved the way for the military ouster of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Islamist Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

Since Morsi's ouster, authorities have essentially criminalized all unauthorized demonstrations. The man who ousted Morsi, former Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, was elected president in June 2014.