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DECEMBER 15

Assyut Travel Guide

Trouble on Assyut




In the last years 1970, the Assyut University became a stronghold of Islamic Societies with the objective of turning Egypt into an Islamic republic. Usually they managed to get music and drama banned, and cafeterias segregated by sex, also the violations of their standards were liable to be punished by club-wielding militants. Actually the terrorist violence is rooted in a vicious cycle of reprisals going back to 1981, when Sadat cracked down on religious extremism after years of tolerating it as a counterweight to the Left.

However as response the members of the secret group Al-Jihad (Holy Struggle) assassinated Sadat in Cairo and stormed Assyut police headquarters the following day, hoping to launch a revolution. However 2 days of rioting ensued, causing 55 deaths.

Meanwhile, offshoots of Al-Jihad led by self-styled "Amirs" spread the conflict across Middle Egypt. Nowadays, the city of Assyut is less of a trouble spot than Minya or Mallawi, but the police and army presence remains formidable.





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