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Scepticism over sudden death of two army officers in Egypt

February 5, 2014 at 2:04 am

Egypt has announced the death of two pillars of the military coup, Major General Rida Hafiz and Mohamed Hamid. Media reports also claim that Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi has been taken to hospital, as have other senior officers. Coup-supporting Grand Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayyeb of Al-Azhar University has just undergone major heart surgery.

Several Egyptian writers and analysts are beginning to ask questions about these coincidental events. Some have expressed their belief that the leader of the military coup, Defence Minister General Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, has started the elimination of potential rivals at an early stage; as the Arabic saying goes, “‘Break your black boxes and start a new stage”.

According to activist and blogger Anwar Al-Mahdi, “When the minister of military production dies on the same day as the chief of staff there is something strange taking place in the country.” He continued: “On the same day, Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh has been admitted to hospital and Tantawi suffered a heart attack. It really is a strange day. These men were pivotal to the military coup.”

Al-Mahdi pointed out that this coincidence is similar to that when former Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and senior Syrian and Israeli officials died on the same day last year.

Activist Karam Ahmed Attia was blunt in his Facebook entry, accusing Al-Sisi of liquidating his partners in the military coup.

Many other senior and junior military officials are reported to have been detained, but there is a strict media blackout in Egypt regarding this issue.