Egypt Islamists On The Streets Against The Military Coup

DSC_3262Cairo – July 6, 2013 – Gen. Abdel Fatah Said Al-Sisi, Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces since 12 August 2012 and the current Supreme Commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces since 3 July 2013, made a mistake in estimating the strength of the Islamic movement, led by the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt when he led the military coup against the elected President Mohamed Morsi, and arrest him in order to satisfy the opposition leaders.

The data indicate that Egypt and the Egyptians are the only ones who will pay the price for the military coup of Al-Sisi, and that the bloodbath of the civilians will not stop in Egypt, but would threaten the national security and the unity of the republic of Egypt for a long period and probably for years.

Perhaps President Morsi made mistakes during his short reign (one year only), but Morsi’s errors were small in compared with the errors of the military organization and Al-Sisi coup which could lead the country into a bloodbath which may cost the lives of hundreds and possibly thousands of Egyptians.

Agencies reported that there have been frightening scenes on the streets of Egypt as supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi face off against the military. Egypt’s Islamists have vowed further protests to demand the army restore the country’s first democratically-elected leader Mohamed Morsi, after a day of clashes which saw 30 people killed across the country.

“The masses will continue their civilized protests and peaceful sit-ins in Cairo until the military coup is reversed and the legitimate president is restored,” a coalition of Islamist groups said in an early morning statement on Saturday.

Ahead of the protests, central Cairo was already tense early on Saturday. Anti-Morsi protesters spent the night in Tahrir Square, with checkpoints manned by civilians after a night of deadly fighting nearby.

A bridge leading up to Cairo University – where Morsi supporters had been camping out – was littered with rocks and burned out tyres from confrontations between the two camps. Throughout the city, there were reports of gunfire during the night, adding to the tension.

The Tamarod movement, which engineered the mass protests against Morsi that culminated in his overthrow by the army on Wednesday, urged its supporters to take to the streets again on Sunday.

DSC_3271Tens of thousands of Morsi’s supporters turned out on Friday to protest against his ouster in the popularly backed military coup. Equally large numbers of anti-Morsi protesters also flooded the streets of Cairo and the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, sparking pitched battles between members of the rival camps.

Police meanwhile pressed a round-up of top Islamists, announcing the arrest of Khairat al-Shater, widely seen as the most powerful man behind Morsi in the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

At least 12 people were killed in Alexandria as Morsi’s supporters and opponents fought in the streets, the official MENA news agency said.

In Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, at least two people were killed when Morsi supporters traded fire with his opponents, state television reported.

The clashes subsided when the army separated the protesters using armoured vehicles.

“We are not taking sides. Our mission is to secure the lives of protesters,” military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali told AFP.

Four protesters were killed outside the Republican Guard headquarters after breaking away from a pro-Morsi demonstration, the official MENA news agency reported.

In the restive north of the Sinai peninsula, armed Morsi supporters stormed the provincial headquarters in the town of El-Arish after a gunfight and raised the black banner of Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamist militants, an AFP correspondent said.

A spokesman for UN chief Ban Ki-moon quoted him calling for a peaceful end to the crisis. “There is no place for retribution or for the exclusion of any major party or community”.

The United States, too, condemned the clashes and urged all leaders, including the army, to ensure the blood-letting ended.

“We condemn the violence that has taken place today in Egypt. We call on all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and to prevent further violence among their supporters,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The Islamists accuse the military of conducting a brazen coup against Morsi, after millions called for his ouster on the June 30 anniversary of his first turbulent year in power.

The armed forces have already sworn in Adly Mansour as interim president, and he issued his first decree on Friday, dissolving the Islamist-led parliament and appointing a new intelligence chief.

Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced Morsi’s overthrow on Wednesday night, citing his inability to end a deepening political crisis.

Morsi himself was “preventively detained”, a senior officer told AFP.

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