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Egypt's Strong Egypt Party blames bloodshed on army, urges 'political solution'

Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh's Strong Egypt Party blames Egyptian military for Monday's killings, calls on Muslim Brotherhood to refrain from escalation and violence

Ahram Online, Monday 8 Jul 2013
Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Strong Egypt Party on Monday called on Muslim Brotherhood leaders to stop escalating against the Egyptian army, going on to blame the army for not preventing bloodshed as promised.

At least 51 protesters were killed and 435 injured in a flare-up of violence between Egypt's army and supporters of toppled president Mohamed Morsi – overthrown last week in a military coup – outside Republican Guard headquarters early Monday morning.

In a statement, Strong Egypt – founded by former Brotherhood figure Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh – blamed the bloodshed on the army, condemning the "excessive use of force that resulted in so many deaths."

"What happened brings back memories of the crimes committed at Maspero, Mohamed Mahmoud Street and Abbasiya," the statement added, in reference to the sites of earlier political violence during Egypt's post-revolution, military-administered transitional phase.

The party went on: "We need an immediate investigation into this massacre and into other recent incidents [of violence] that have taken place in Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere."

Political violence has been seen nationwide for over one week, especially between the ousted president's supporters and his opponents.

Morsi was ousted by the military on 3 July, when Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced a "roadmap" for political transition following mass protests calling for Morsi's souter and snap presidential polls.

The Strong Egypt Party also called on the Brotherhood, the group that propelled Morsi to power in last year's presidential elections, to abandoned violence and stop urging its members to confront the army.

"[The Brotherhood] must give the political solution a chance," the statement read. "All political forces must not provide cover for violent acts and remain peaceful."

Protests at Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo's Nasr City district are being held by Brotherhood supporters who believe Morsi – arrested immediately after his overthrow by the military – was being kept inside.

Earlier Monday, Strong Egypt Party founder Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, a one-time leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a staunch critic of former president Morsi, called on interim president Adly Mansour to step down following the confrontation between the army and pro-Morsi protesters.  

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