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Thursday, 21 June 2018

Update 9: Mass rallies support Egypt's army; deadly clashes in Cairo, Alexandria

Mass rival rallies in Egypt lead to deadly violence in Cairo and Alexandria as millions heed calls by Egypt’s military chief to give him a popular mandate to confront ‘violence and terrorism’

Bel Trew, Ayat Al-Tawy, Osman El-Sharnoubi, Randa Ali, Sherif Tarek, Friday 26 Jul 2013
Tahrir square
Egyptian pro-army protesters pack the iconic Tahrir square on Friday (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Views: 15733
Views: 15733

Clashes pitting supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi against pro-military protesters and security forces led to deaths in Cairo and Alexandria as millions took to the streets to heed a call by army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to confront ‘violence and terrorism’.

Nine people, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed in in scuffles in Egypt’s second biggest city Alexandria on Friday, the health ministry said, while at least 10 died in Cairo in the early hours of Saturday after Morsi supporters were confronted by riot police, according to a makeshift hospital at a nearby Islamist sit-in. 

Hundreds were also wounded nationwide, including at least seven policemen, health ministry officials said. A security source told state-run news agency MENA that 53 Brotherhood members were arrested for wielding arms.

Estimated millions took to the streets in Cairo and other governorates to support the army in scenes reminiscent of the 30 June demonstrations that led to the overthrow of President Morsi, whose supporters are still holding firm on their demand to reinstate him.

Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Cairo's Tahrir Square and the Ittihadiya presidential palace, giving Minister of Defence El-Sisi the popular "mandate" he had asked for in a speech on Wednesday to "deal with violence and potential terrorism."

Demonstrators filled the epicenter of the 2011 revolution as well as the nearby Qasr El-Nil Bridge and Maspero while repeating pro-military slogans and chanting against the Muslim Brotherhood, from which toppled president Morsi hails.

According to Ahram Online's reporter on the field, a number of high ranking police officers joined the pro-military protesters in Tahrir.

The officers were welcomed with cheers and chants of "the army, the police and the people are one hand." Protesters held posters of army chief El-Sisi, and pictures showing the Islamic crescent and the Christian cross as a symbol of national unity.

"It's a wonderful day. We lost a year of Egypt under Mohamed Morsi who only brought us injustice; he destroyed tourism, the media, and the economy," protester Khaled Mostafa, an employee in the justice ministry, told Ahram Online.

"We were pleased with the announcement this morning that Morsi was being detained. We believe all the Muslim Brotherhood cronies should be locked up forever including [Mohamed] El-Beltagy, Essam El-Erian, Hafez, all of them," he added.

In a largely festive atmosphere, flag-waving Egyptians chanted pro-army slogans and car drivers honked their horns in many parts of Cairo, including the upscale districts of Mohandessin and Zamalek.

Tahrir and Ittihadeya palace, which is located in Cairo's Heliopolis district, were filled with enthusiastic demonstrators who aimed to support the army in its tug-of-war with the faltering Brotherhood.

Dozens of police and military armoured vehicles were stationed around Tahrir Square and Ittihadeya as hundreds of thousands turned up.

Earlier on Friday, an Egyptian court ordered that the deposed president be detained for 15 days pending investigations for allegedly collaborating with the Palestinian Hamas, an offshoot of the Brotherhood, to escape from Wadi El-Natroun Prison and destroy prison records during the 2011 uprising.

Morsi has been held incommunicado at a secret location since he was removed from the presidency by Egypt's military on 3 July following mass nationwide protests.

Many of the protesters who chanted against the Muslim Brotherhood in Tahrir told Ahram Online that they were in the square to defend the country "against terrorism."

"Everyone wants Sisi to fight against terrorism, and those terrorists are the people who support violence no matter what side they are on, pro- or anti-Morsi," said Ines Omar, a business development assistant.

"This deadlock won't and can't last forever, because the majority of the people are against violence and just want the country to get back on its feet. These people, myself included, are way more than those people at [the pro-Morsi sit-in at] Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque."

Violence near Cairo sit-in

The area surrounding Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque, which has been the venue of the massive pro-Morsi sit-in since 28 June in Cairo's populous Nasr City, has seen an unprecedentedly high turnout of the Morsi’s loyalists, according to Ahram Online's reporters.

The atmosphere was relatively calm until the early hours of Saturday when at least ten Morsi supporters were killed after clashes with security forces, according to Omar Amer, a doctor at the sit-in makeshift hospital.

Some 500 were also injured as violence erupted near the Unknown Soldier Memorial, located nearly one km away from Rabaa Al-Adawyia, according to Amer.

State news agency MENA reported that police forces led a crackdown on pro-Morsi protesters for seeking to block the nearby Six of October Bridge.

Morsi supporters remain largely outnumbered by their opponents in Cairo, as well as other cities including Nile Delta's Mansoura, Luxor in Upper Egypt and the northern city of Alexandria.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Co. keep arguing that the military-backed ouster of Morsi was an illegitimate coup d’état, while military leaders say they responded to the will of the people after millions thronged the streets to demand an end to Morsi's rule.

Mohamed El-Aidi, a 30-year-old businessman, said he brought his wife and one-year-old son to Rabaa Al-Adawiya to call for Morsi's reinstatement. "Where is my voice?" El-Aidi told Ahram Online, saying that he democratically elected Morsi in 2012 and now feels his voice was "stolen."

El-Aidi also accused El-Sisi of favouring the anti-Morsi camp, calling on the army to reject his position.

Another protester at Rabaa, a 56-year-old doctor who identified himself as Hussein, said: "The army calls us terrorists but you see thousands of people here peacefully protesting."

"How come we're terrorists? We have been vilified, shot at, gassed, and they have illegally detained our president and will try to clear this sit-in."

Clashes broke out quite frequently the past few weeks between pro and anti Morsi protesters across Egypt. On many occasions, both sides used firearms against each other, resulting in tens of deaths.

There has also been recurrent violence between Morsi supporters and security forces.

"Who is in Tahrir? The police, the army and the old regime are," Hussein added. "We have the president, the constitution, and legitimacy. It's simple, we're staying put."

Morsi was toppled as part of the armed forces' roadmap for Egypt following the mass nationwide protests against Morsi. The 2012 constitution, which was drafted by an Islamist-dominated constituent assembly, was also frozen pending amendments as part of the roadmap.

For his side, Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has called on supporters of Morsi to call-off their sit-ins, promising they will not be harmed.

Another sit-in staged by pro-Morsi supporters is located in Giza's Al-Nahda Square in front of Cairo University.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said during a telephone interview with private Egyptian TV channel Al-Hayat 2 that pro-Morsi sit-ins will be "legally" dispersed soon.

Alexandria deaths

In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, at least nine were killed and 146 injured in clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents.

The clashes reportedly broke out in Mahatet Al-Raml district in Egypt’s second-largest city after pro-military protesters who were marching against “terrorism” passed near a demonstration by supporters of Morsi at Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque.

According to Ahram’s Arabic news website, security forces fired teargas in the vicinity of the clashes to disperse protesters.

Clashes also erupted between supporters and opponents of Morsi in the central Cairo neighbourhood of Shubra, witnesses told AFP.

Live footage on satellite station ONTV showed crowds throwing rocks at each other in the neighbourhood. Medics said clashes left at least 10 injured.

Confrontations also broke out in Upper Egypt's Luxor and Mahalah, located in the Delta governorate of Gharbiya.

In the Nile Delta city of Gharbiya, ten people – including a police officer – were injured in scuffles between loyalists and opponents of Egypt's toppled Islamist leader early Friday morning.

Meanwhile, clashes remain ongoing in Sinai between pro-Morsi militant groups and the security forces. Dozens have been killed in the restive peninsula since the beginning of the month.

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27-07-2013 03:40am
shame on muslim brotherhood leaders!
Shame on the leaders of muslim brother for not knowing when to bow out of defeat, instead they are hiding with their members and pushing their members to commit more violence. If you are truly innocent why don't you come out and face the charges against you and urge your members to go home and care for their home, livelihood and most especially their children. Egypt has people of different ideologies and religion you should be wise to know this and reconcile with the people instead of liasing with terrorist groups. What kind of father or mother bring your kids to protest only because of Morsi? WHo is Morsi? he is not a GOD and he did not even feed you! He is just another human being so for all Morsi protesters please go home and re-think about your direction and accept defeat and emerge again as a new and better group instead of hiding and being labeled as terrorist.
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28-07-2013 11:00am
Totally wrong comment by you
US and Israel were defeated in elections and therefore they did this drama.
27-07-2013 06:26am
President Morsi is a Human
Like you want to run Egypt by force. These people came and want to say where are my votes to which we queued for days in order to determine h

Mohamed Awd
27-07-2013 02:11am
To clear to see
Perhaps for people supporting "Islamic" role in politics, which is some thing I personally disagree totally with, can't even see the plain truth ...people who came down to the streets today and before already got sick of your poor games and messy attitude.....
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26-07-2013 11:45pm
By the people, For ALL the people!
During Morsi's campaigning for presidency, he said he was not with the MB any longer. That he was a moderate and would stnad for ALL Egyptians. The people believed him BUT he lied. He was still MB and started to change Egypt into another IRAN! The masses have determined that Morsi lied and should be removed! They want a government that represents ALL Egyptians! Not just one group who thought they could hyjack the country!
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04-08-2013 02:55pm
so you think this gov is representing all egyptian. what a joke. shame

26-07-2013 11:41pm
Egypt sees massive farce .....
Guardian newspaper UK has noted the false photos of demonstration for military. And who demonstrates to support thugs who want to sell Egyptian honour to line their pockets? It is the responsibility of patriotic Egyptian officers to immediately liquidate the generals who get their paychecks from the enemies of Egyptian people. Alsisi has a plane on stand-by to run away. He should be arrested and put away.
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Bob V.
26-07-2013 11:34pm
Something does not add up
As far as I know Morsi came to power thru the ballot, fair and square. He did it again with the referendum. If the majority of the Egyptians are against him, how could that happen? Why the coup? WHy not force him thru an early election? Unless the military and its cronies fear a sure loss?
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Dust Bunny
27-07-2013 10:17am
What coup? The people forced Morsi out of his throne WITHOUT the army! Maybe in your country the army doesn't protect its people but in Egypt things work differently, my friend. Long live Egypt and the Egyptian army!

Abdul Malik
26-07-2013 11:08pm
Al-ahram news paper a Government spokemen.
Army on gunpoint setting new definition of DEMOCRACY? An elected government can be removed on gun point any where in the world and it could be titled as POPULAR UPRISING. It is the new drama of USA, Morsi was and still legitimate president in the history of EGYPT, Government+Army USA+ISRAEL+Gulf Countries playing DRAMA. Helpless masses from last month determined to restore Morsi back. Down Down USA back so called army dram. Gun can never defeat BALLOT, Abdul Fattah Sisi betrayed, Israel is happy on this change, very sur
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Samantha Criscione
26-07-2013 06:33pm
Tahrir Square packed with people today
If, as khuolar writes, the Reuters picture that Ahram is using of Tahrir Square comes from Mubarak times, why are some protesters carrying pictures of Sisi? What foresight they had! For a Reuters video of Tahrir today, go toTahrir is packed, despite all the predictions of violence.
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26-07-2013 11:45pm
T square
Samantha, give us a break! This can easily be an edited photo. I tend to believe Guardian UK than alsisi.

26-07-2013 06:28pm
This idiot Sisi should have known that he cannot remove a legitimately & popularly elected President and not expect a popular rising. REBEL & SISI ARE BUNCH OF IDIOTS WHO PUSHING EGYPT INTO ANARCHY.
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27-07-2013 04:09am
Tamarod Movement and El Sisi , a bunch of idiots.
100% agree with your comments.

26-07-2013 06:24pm
What are you trying to hide?
The media blackout of ALL activity going on today is APPALLING!! I thought I was living in Egypt, NOT North Korea~!
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26-07-2013 11:08pm
Media Blackout
What media blackout, I have been watching it all day, this is blatant nonsense.
26-07-2013 09:25pm
there shameful acts
After news papers and channels of MB shutdown, where else you can see the true picture of Morsi and Legitimacy loyalist? state media .. haha. Truth can not be hidden and Sisi and his cronies will be brought to justice sooner or later. Those who support this military coup are TRUE Fascists. There are feeling the pain of the protest so much that they are threating to use the Army against the protestors let alone the police. If these fascists think that it was there right to protest on 30 June , then what's wrong now? You started this fiasco to protest against the elected president and now you don't want to play the same game. Lets be fair and honest. It is proving very hard on the nerves of these "little minds" to face this situation. Peaceful protestors are on the streets of Egypt and will continue to remain steadfast against this fascist regime and coup plotters until legitimacy is brought back to egypt and Honour returns to the people of Egypt. These people are so scared that they ev

26-07-2013 05:58pm
Tens of thousands flock
The Tahrir picture is from Mubarak times. Give us the latest. alsisi is on the run to europe. He won't need his dumb sunglasses anymore.
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26-07-2013 07:45pm
Tens of thousands flock
Egyptain baised media is playing very dirty role to divide and plunge the country into civil war.Real revelution now started,these all pro mubrak regime loyals will very soon be on run.Shame to egpytain biased media
26-07-2013 07:07pm
old media tactics
Sorry Ahram ;) you are running old media tactics. Show us the live coverage footage of what was going on there. We all know that Pro-Morsi and supporters of legitimacy are out there in Millions. If you dare, show their live coverage. Lets be honest and accept that this coup is only backed by the old Mubarak regime. Since when did the police, army and people became one hand? After killing 52 at the presidentail guard Heard quarters. Sisi has sand slipping from his hand
26-07-2013 07:03pm
You obviously have not seen the TV today!!! Tahrir is packed!! AND THE ONLY PEOPLE ON THE RUN ARE THE LEADERS OF THE MB!!!!

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