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Egypt PM 'not sure' if security opened fire on Morsi loyalists

Interim PM El-Beblawi denies army interference in politics since Morsi ouster, says he will resign 'the moment' he feels civilian government is 'besieged'

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Jul 2013
File photo: Hazem El-Beblawi (Photo: AP)
Views: 1599
Views: 1599

Egypt's Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said he is "not sure" if security personnel used live ammunition against supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi during clashes early Saturday, stressing the importance of respecting human rights.

"I am not sure," he replied when asked by CNN if police or army forces had opened fired at pro-Morsi crowds in Cairo's Nasr City.

El-Beblawi stressed that anyone who breaks the law, including government officials, should be held accountable.

He added that he was sure an instruction had been given regarding Saturday's events, and he "was told by the minister that they took the instruction very seriously. But we will undertake an investigation to make sure that there is no abuse."

"But what surprises me is someone wants to make his voices aloud, how come they take to the street after 1 o'clock in the morning," El-Beblawi stated during the interview conducted in English.

The Ministry of Health said at least 80 were killed in the Saturday clashes that occurred less than two kilometers away from the massive pro-Morsi sit-in at Nasr City's Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque.

Doctors at the sit-in's field hospital said at least 200 protesters were killed and 4500 injured, most of whom they say were fatally shot by police forces.

According to the Egyptian prosecution and eyewitness accounts, Morsi’s supporters were attempting to rally on top of the Sixth of October Bridge, which prompted security forces to take action.

Widely circulated videos showed police troops firing rounds in the direction of Morsi's supporters, some of whom also appeared to be using firearms.

In the weeks following Morsi's ouster on 3 July, thousands of pro-Morsi protesters have staged sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya and in Giza's Al-Nahda Square, located in front of Cairo University. They have also been organising marches across Egypt to demand Morsi's reinstatement as president.

The number of protesters at Rabaa Al-Adawiya increased on Friday, with crowds extending to the Unknown Soldier Memorial (one kilometre away) and the nearby Sixth of October Bridge.

The Egyptian army removed Morsi from the presidency after one year in office following nationwide protests against the former leader.

El-Beblawi, however, stressed that it there has been no interference in politics by the military since Morsi's overthrow.

"As far as I am concerned, I feel very much in charge with my council of ministers, and I haven't seen any indication or any sign from anyone to tell me what to be done," he stated.

"The moment I feel that the civilian government is besieged, I will put in my resignation."

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30-07-2013 09:33am
Resign NOW!!
The whole world can see that the military chief el-sisi is in charge and control of Egytian politics. This old man can't see......must be suffering from cataract. RESIGN NOW!!!
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Azam Mahmood
30-07-2013 09:20am
Profoundly shocked...
Profoundly shocked reading a news this morning that the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz paid US$100 Crore to General Sisi to oust President Mursi. Leading Saudi political party Mujtahid divulged this alarming news with a list of other heinous misdeeds of Saudi Royal family. Sad that the democracy loving people in general and Muslims in particular are still silently watching this gruesome genocide of innocent people in Egypt by that bandit Sisi. Sisi should be immediately tried for killing scores of unarmed peaceful protestors.
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Samantha Criscione
30-07-2013 06:28am
The videos do not prove what the Brotherhood claims they prove
I have seen the two most widely circulated videos. The shorter one is actually a section cut from the longer one. The shorter one is edited to double the amount of shooting the one policeman shown shooting appears to be doing. The longer video shows several policemen, who have taken shelter. They are clearly being fired on. They shoot back. This does not constitute firing at protesters, it constitutes firing at armed attackers who are no different from the armed attackers in Sinai. There is nothing in either video that shows a police attack on a march, that is, on real "protesters." The person filming the video never turns his camera around to show what the Police were firing on -- why not, if they were firing at a march? Why not show the targets? Obviously, because if he did, it would show they were NOT firing at protesters, but at gunmen. It would appear the cameraman was part of a Brotherhood militia group, assigned to stage a provocation, with the police response then being filmed as proof that the police were killing protesters. Moreover, given the moral standards of the Brotherhood leaders, it is more than possible that they had some of their shooters shoot some of their own people -- there are reports of some brotherhood people being killed with one shot at close range, execution style, but the video clearly shows the few policemen doing any shooting firing at opponents far away. This is a staged incident, intended to divert from the millions who demonstrated against terror on Friday, and justify international condemnation with the intention of intimidating weaker people in the Egyptian government.--Samantha Criscione
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