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Egypt braces for more protests by Morsi supporters

Updated: 2013-07-13 13:28
( China Daily/Agencies)

Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi called for protests on Friday and Egyptians prayed there would be no repeat of clashes that have killed more than 90 people in the last week in the bitterly divided Arab nation.

More than a week after the army toppled Egypt's first elected leader on a wave of demonstrations, Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement wants people to join it on the streets to push for his reinstatement, which now looks like a lost cause.

Egypt braces for more protests by Morsi supporters

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi wave Egyptian flags and hold his pictures as they gather at the Rabaa Adawiya square, where they are camping, in Cairo, July 12, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

The streets of Cairo were quiet on Friday morning, with separate demonstrations by Morsi supporters and opponents expected later in the day, the weekly Muslim prayer day.

Officials said Morsi is still being held at the Republican Guard compound in Cairo, where troops killed 53 Islamist protesters on Monday in violence that intensified anger his allies already felt at the military's decision to oust him.

Four members of the security forces were also killed in that confrontation, which the military blamed on "terrorists". Morsi's supporters called it a massacre and said those who died were praying peacefully when troops opened fire.

The Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to keep protesting until he is reinstated, and has called separate rallies across Cairo.

But the group's ability to mobilize remains in question with much of its leadership detained, on the run or keeping a low profile.

Many of Egypt's 84 million people have been shocked by the shootings, graphic images of which have appeared on state and private news channels and social media. The incident occurred just three days after 35 people were killed in clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents across the country.

"It's a very hard time for Egyptians, to see footage of blood and violence during the holy month of Ramadan, and everyone I speak to says the same thing," said Fateh Ali, 54, a civil servant in Cairo. "I really hope the situation gets resolved soon. I don't think we can afford this economically or psychologically."

The Brotherhood contends it is the victim of a military crackdown, evoking memories of Hosni Mubarak, whose 30-year rule collapsed in an uprising in 2011.


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