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The country of Egypt is experiencing a chain of violent events which started on Sunday when 51 people were killed in deadly clashes stemming from holiday celebrations and continuing until Monday in a drive-by-shooting in Cairo and a car bomb in Sinai.
At this point, no group has taken responsibility for any of this week’s events. However, The Washington Post reports that just last Friday, a Muslim Salifi group warned Egyptians against aiding the military’s assault on supporters of Egypt’s former president Mohammed Morsi.
Since the ousting of Morsi, violence in Egypt has surged dramatically between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood which sided with the deposed president.
The car bombing in Sinai marked one of the first violent episodes in the city since 2006. Government officials worry these violent episodes will setback their recent attempts to revive their tourism economy, a main component in fueling the country’s economic recovery.
Bloomberg Businessweek quoted Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, “If you keep on having clashes that kill over 50, then the economy is not going to fully recover [...] That’s the main bargaining chip that the Brotherhood and their allies have: They can essentially undermine Egypt’s economic recovery if they continue to protest.”
Government officials are not anticipating any end to the violence in Egypt; “we are expecting worse,” said an official who chose to remain unnamed.