Friday 15 November 2019

At least 30 die in Egypt violence

A supporter of ousted president Mohammed Morsi holds a Quran while chanting slogans supporting Morsi during a rally in Cairo University (AP)
A supporter of ousted president Mohammed Morsi holds a Quran while chanting slogans supporting Morsi during a rally in Cairo University (AP)
Protesters react after Egyptian security forces open fire on supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi (AP)
Protesters carry the body of a man shot by Egyptian troops in Cairo (AP)
Egyptian army soldiers are seen near the University of Cairo, in Giza (AP)
An anit-Morsi protester holds a poster of Lt Gen Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Egyptian Army Commander in Chief, during a rally in Tahrir Square (AP)

An Interior Ministry spokesman says the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater, considered the most powerful man in the organisation has been arrested as at least 30 people were killed in violence across the country.

Spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif says el-Shater and his brother were arrested late on Friday from an apartment in eastern Cairo on allegations of inciting violence against protesters in recent days.

El-Shater, a wealthy businessman, is the deputy of the Brotherhood's supreme leader, but has long been considered the group's most powerful decision-maker. He was the group's original candidate for the presidency but was disqualified for a past prison sentence. Mohammed Morsi ran in his place and became Egypt's first freely elected president.

Morsi was swept out of office this week by the military as millions held protests demanding his removal.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of supporters of ousted president Morsi marched in Cairo on Friday, and gunfire and stone-throwing marked clashes taking place after dark. Across Egypt, at least 30 people were reported killed and more than 200 wounded.

In Washington, the State Department condemned the violence and called on all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and to prevent further violence among their supporters.

"The voices of all who are protesting peacefully must be heard - including those who welcomed the events of earlier this week and those who supported President Morsi," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. "The Egyptian people must come together to resolve their differences peacefully, without recourse to violence or the use of force."

In spite of US urging, Egyptian authorities arrested and detained the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, General Guide Mohammed Badie, on Thursday, although he was later released and emerged publicly on Friday to speak defiantly before a cheering crowd of pro-Morsi supporters, vowing to reinstate ousted Morsi and end military rule. Morsi, a leading member of the Brotherhood, and at least a dozen presidential aides already had been placed under house arrest.

The swearing-in of Adly Mansour, the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, as Egypt's interim president illustrated the military's desire to be seen as quickly returning the nation to civilian control.

PA Media

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