MIDDLE EAST: A Preemptive Purge in Cairo

Over double Scotches in his private drawing room, Egypt's President Anwar Sadat confided to an American visitor early last week that he might shortly move to consolidate his power. He had just dismissed his chief rival, left-leaning Vice President Ali Sabry (TIME, May 17), and he hinted at further moves to strengthen his hold. Even so, few expected him to move as quickly and boldly as he did. Later in the week, in rapid-fire succession, Sadat fired Egypt's tough Interior Minister Shaarawi Gomaa and accepted the resignations of War Minister General Mohammed...

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