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ICC Note: The security situation remains tense all across Egypt, even the military and police forces are concerned about violence directed at them. After weeks of de facto control of the city of Delga being held by supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the military staged an operation to regain control of the city of some 120,000. The cities 15,000 Christians have suffered at the hands of these thugs who have destroyed a monastery, churches, and dozens of homes over the past few weeks.
By David D. Kirkpatrick
9/16/2013 Egypt (New York Times) – A convoy of more than a dozen armored police and army vehicles arrived here just before dawn on Monday, rolling into the rural village that has witnessed the most horrific sectarian violence in Egypt since the military’s ouster two months ago of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Among the damage, a 1,650-year-old monastery, its two churches and as many as 35 homes belonging to Christians have all been burned or ransacked.
But the security forces did not bring such heavy weapons to protect Christian residents. Interior ministry officials said the expedition was an attempt to capture a single fugitive Islamist, and it may depart soon. The overwhelming force, they said, was merely for self-protection: the surrounding province of Minya is still considered a bastion of Islamist support for Mr. Morsi.
The scale of the operation — including helicopters and scores of heavily armed troops, in a town with a population of 120,000 — was the latest indication of the challenge the government appointed two months ago by Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi appears to face as it struggles to control the Islamist strongholds in rural southern regions of Egypt.
In Cairo, where Islamists were always weakest, the security forces have ridden a wave of public approbation as they have moved quickly to impose a tight lockdown on street protests. Demonstrators opposing the new government are ever wary, fenced in by security forces, harried by hostile residents and fearful of attack. But in Minya, the provincial capital, the situation is so starkly inverted that a visitor might almost think that Mr. Morsi was still president of Egypt.
Hundreds or even thousands of his supporters march through the streets for hours almost every night. Families parade infants on their shoulders, brigades of women march together and neighbors smile and wave from windows. Any who disapprove hold their tongues, aware they are outnumbered.
The security forces seldom venture beyond a tight ring of barbed wire and armored vehicles protecting the provincial headquarters. During a recent weekday evening protest, a lone police car waited patiently at an intersection for a parade of Morsi supporters several blocks long to make its way past. “Keep hoping, President, Sisi is a good donkey,” they chanted — a play on the general’s last name, which is the Arabic word for “pony.”

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