The headquarters of Egypt’s Wafd Party in Cairo was torched on Saturday by supporters of Salafi Islamist politician Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported.
The liberal party’s deputy chairman Fouad Badrawi was injured in the attack, in which the radical Islamist’s supporters managed to break into the party’s building despite heavy security presence.
El-Said Badawi, head of the Wafd Party, told Al Arabiya in an interview, “Today, the Egyptian state, represented by the ministry of interior, has collapsed. The ministry cannot maintain order, allowing militias to roam freely in the country.”
The when law enforcement falls, the law of the jungle prevails,” Badawi said.
The violence broke out as Egyptians voted in a referendum on a new constitution intended to pull the country out a growing political crisis.
The Wafd party had pulled out from the Constituent Assembly that drafted a controversial constitution that was put to vote on Saturday.
Supporters of Abu Ismail had targeted media offices and liberal opposition groups accusing them of trying to sabotage constitutional referendum.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri recently urged Abu Ismail to re-launch the Egyptian revolution. “You must meet the request of the Egyptian people for Sharia rule in order to attain dignity and pride,” Zawahiri told Abu Ismail.
On Saturday, in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, a prominent Egyptian preacher who was besieged by protesters opposing the draft constitution revealed that “armed brothers” offered to help break the siege on him by force, but that he asked them to wait until “the orders come.”