Egypt retakes Delga town from Morsi supporters

Egypt retakes Delga town from Morsi supporters
Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:49:01

Egyptian security forces have recaptured a town in central Egypt that had been under the control of supporters of ex-president Mohamed Morsi for more than two months, a report says.

Locals told the Guardian newspaper on Monday, armed crowds in Delga, a remote town of 120,000 people in Egypt's Minya province, scared away its meager police force following Morsi's overthrow on 3 July.

Two earlier attempts to retake Delga failed, but in the early hours of Monday police launched a third and decisive assault, and have now re-entered the town, residents said by telephone.

Further assaults on up to 10 other towns in the region where armed men have also weakened state control since July are also planned, Minya's Governor Salah Zeyada, said.

The move on Delga may have come too late for much of the town's residents. Up to 100 families have fled since July, with dozens of properties torched and looted.

"Nothing can stop anyone in Delga. It's a free-for-all," one local activist, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said before police re-entered the town. "Copts tend to stay in their homes without work and our lives are unbearable."

The violence peaked on 14 August, the day soldiers and police slaughtered hundreds of pro-Morsi supporters at two protest camps in Cairo, where about 350 people from Delga were among the thousands demonstrating.

In retaliation, groups of armed men across the country attacked dozens of police stations.


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