Thursday 19 April 2018

Six killed in latest Egyptian clashes

SIX people were killed in Cairo today in clashes between opponents and Islamist supporters of Egypt's deposed President Mohamed Mursi, state-run media reported, keeping the most populous Arab nation in turmoil.

The violence broke out before dawn near a Brotherhood protest at Cairo University, where Mursi supporters have been camped out since the army removed the Islamist politician from power on July 3 following protests against his rule.

 

The Brotherhood described it as an attack on peaceful protesters. Police sources said hundreds of Mursi supporters clashed with local residents, street vendors and others near the sit-in. They said gunshots were fired and stones were thrown.

 

With the Brotherhood vowing to stay in the streets, the bloodshed was a fresh example of the instability facing Egypt as the newly-installed interim government moves along an army-backed roadmap towards elections in about six months.

 

The state-run Al-Ahram newspaper quoted a health ministry official as saying six people had been killed and 33 wounded, bringing to nine the number of deaths in political violence in the last two days.

 

At least 15 burned-out cars lay abandoned around the Cairo University area where the clashes took place. Splattered blood and broken glass disfigured the pavements near the shopping area where a traffic police station was set on fire.

 

Brotherhood members with sticks guarded the entrance to the protest site after the clashes calmed, while residents stopped cars on the road to Cairo University to check for weapons.

 

About 100 people have died in violence since the army deposed Mursi and replaced him with an interim administration led by the Adli Mansour, the head of the constitutional court. The Brotherhood accuses the army of orchestrating a coup.

 

It said on its website that seven "martyrs" had been killed overnight in two separate attacks on Mursi supporters, one at Cairo University and another during a march near a bigger round-the-clock sit-in in the north of the city.

 

 

BROTHERHOOD PROTESTERS "TERRORISED"

 

The Brotherhood says it will maintain the sit-in until Mursi, held by the army in an unknown location since his overthrow after a year in power as Egypt's first freely elected president, is reinstated.

 

"Leaders of the military coup continue to terrorise the peaceful protesters in Egypt," the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party said in a statement.

 

Mursi's family said on Monday it would sue the army for holding him without charge. The United States, which gives Egypt $1.3 billion a year in military aid, has called for Mursi's release and an end to "all politicised arrests and detentions".

 

Some residents near the Islamist movement's main protest area in Nasr City have filed a complaint with the public prosecutor asking for the removal of the protesters. A security source said on Tuesday a court was expected to rule on the case soon "to give the army a legal basis to end the protests".

 

The National Salvation Front, an alliance of liberal and leftist parties that supported Mursi's ouster, condemned what it described as attacks by Brotherhood supporters on protesters over the last three weeks.

 

In separate overnight clashes, a civilian and a policeman were killed in the lawless North Sinai region, near Egypt's borders with Israel and the Palestinian Gaza strip, where hardline Islamists have stepped up attacks on security forces.

 

A security vacuum following the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak resulted in a surge of attacks in North Sinai. At least 20 people have been killed in militant violence there since Mursi's overthrow on July 3.

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