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Egypt's Morsi skips funeral to allow public to mourn: Presidential spokesman

Yasser Ali claims President Morsi missed Tuesday funeral for 16 Egyptian border guards to avoid disturbing public ceremony; presidential source reveals perceived security threat was real reason

Ahram Online, Tuesday 7 Aug 2012
Yasser Ali
Presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali
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Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali revealed that President Mohamed Morsi was absent from Tuesday's military funeral for 16 slain Egyptian border guards to allow the public to easily attend the event, as a presidential cavalcade may have caused "obstacles."

"The scene was emotionally charged and for that reason the president decided not to go. Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi went on his behalf," Ali added.

However, a presidential source told Al-Ahram's Arabic language news website that Morsi's absence from the funeral was due to potential security threats from demonstrations against the state leader.

Dozens of protesters outside of the funeral chanted against the Muslim Brotherhood and the president, who they hold responsible for the bloodshed.

Newly-appointed Prime Minister Hisham Qandil also failed to attend the funeral after being attacked by angry demonstrators upon his arrival to Nasr City's Al-Rashdan mosque where prayers took place before the funeral.

On Sunday, an attack by unknown assailants on Egyptian border guards at the Egypt-Gaza border left 16 dead and seven injured. President Mohamed Morsi declared a three-day period of national mourning for those killed, on Monday.

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