Jihadist group warns against pro-military rallies by Egyptians

    By IANS,

    Cairo: A Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has warned Egyptians against holding any pro-military rallies Saturday, state-run MENA news agency reported Friday.

    “If you stay at home and do not hold marches, you have a right upon us to enjoy safety and peace, but if you take to the streets, we are able to deter you,” MENA quoted the group as saying in a statement, according to Xinhua.

    Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the blast outside Cairo security headquarters Friday morning that killed at least four people and injured dozens, as well as an earlier blast at a security department in Daqahliya province north of Cairo in late December, which left 17 dead and more than 130 injured.

    The group’s statement came after a wave of blasts hit security premises in Cairo, killing six and wounding 92.

    The deadly attacks come on the eve of the third anniversary of an upheaval that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

    Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is a supporter of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was removed by the military last July following mass protests against his rule and his Muslim Brotherhood group.

    Since Morsi’s ouster, his supporters have been holding protests denouncing his removal as “a coup” and calling for his reinstatement.

    Anti-government protests are expected to be staged by Morsi’s loyalists Saturday, while supporters of the government and the military are planning to hold nationwide celebrations.