The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

August 20, 2013

Pennsylvania Congressional delegation weighs in on Egypt

CAIRO — Jailed ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be released later this week, judicial officials said Monday, a move that would fuel the unrest roiling the country after the autocratic leader’s successor was removed in a military coup.

Underscoring the growing anger over Mohammed Morsi’s ouster, suspected Islamic militants ambushed two minibuses carrying off-duty policemen in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, forcing the men to lie on the sand and shooting 25 of them dead.

The brazen daylight attack raised fears that the strategic desert region bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip could be plunged into insurgency.

The 25 were given a funeral with full military honors after a plane brought their bodies to an air base in eastern Cairo. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police, and the army’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Sedki Sobhi, led the funeral.

The coffins of the victims were draped in red, white and black Egyptian flags and, in a show of solidarity, were jointly carried in the funeral procession by army soldiers and policemen. Earlier, relatives and friends wept over the coffins.

“The situation with Egypt is disturbing," U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. R-Pa., said this morning. "We are now seeing a low-grade civil war between the military and the Islamists.

“Earlier this year, the Senate voted to table an amendment cutting off aid to Egypt, thereby postponing its consideration," Toomey said. "I supported this tabling motion as I did not want the United States Senate to be perceived as taking sides.

"The Egyptian military crossed the line last week.  We should stop giving foreign aid to Egypt and its military unless the country moves toward an inclusive democratic system. American taxpayers should not contribute to a military that slaughters civilians in the street.”

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