Monday, October 7, 2013

Letters from Egypt: Confirmed GRENADE BLASTS in Maadi

A rocket propelled grenade went off at the satellite field in Maadi at 4:30 am this morning. At the same time, a quarry in Wadi Degla carried out two scheduled controlled detonations of a large surface area of rock.

So there I was in dreamland until 4:30 am when I was jolted awake and my dog literally fell off the bed. I immediately thought it was a bomb, but then I thought I was disoriented and only remembering the story I’d written earlier that day about two bombs being found in Egypt last Thursday (one blew up near a pipeline and the other was diffused in Mohandaseen). Then I heard another blast followed by morning prayer. That was joined in with the military personnel screaming from the satellite field. Sometimes you hear them call back and forth to one another, but this was more than one or two joining in.

No one in my building seemed to be awake, so I ventured outside but it still seemed the neighborhood was dead asleep – which makes me think Egyptians can sleep through anything. I passed by Telecom Egypt on my way into the office this morning and saw police driving across the field near Grand Mall and a few army/police outside the main office although it didn’t seem significant. When I arrived in my office, I’d heard of the blasts at Telecom Egypt with one of my colleagues who lives across from the satellite field confirming it.

Some of you are saying that it was just the quarry, but a security source told me that what this could mean is that the blasts were coordinated. As I’ve stated numerous times, do your due diligence (and preferably before you send out a mass email titled “Don't Panic‏”). I’ll be the first to admit that I try to think things are less than what they are until I can confirm as such, but what I heard this morning definitely had me up and at it.

The main thing here is that this is one of the first attacks in Maadi, a mostly expat Cairo suburb. The other main point is that bombs are becoming more frequent. And I dare say that if the Muslim Brotherhood’s past indiscretions are any indicator, there could be more – maybe not in Maadi, but Egypt is a long way off from stability.

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