Brotherhood members freed after mosque siege
Ahram Online, Wednesday 26 Jun 2013
Abdel-Rahman El-Barr of Muslim Brotherhood's Guidance Office prevented from leaving mosque in Sharqiya for several hours by opposition supporters, local Freedom and Justice Party office torched

Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau member Abdel-Rahman El-Barr and other members of the Islamist group were trapped insidea mosque by opposition protesters for several hours on Tuesday evening.

Around 700 people gathered outside the mosque in El-Ibrahimeya city in Sharqiya until police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and gunshots fired into the air, enabling El-Barr and the others to depart.

Protesters torched the office of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)in El-Ibrahimeya shortly after El-Barr was released, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

FJP member Hassan El-Sadek said El-Barr had been giving a religious lecture at the mosque.

“Thugs and members of [ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s] dissolved National Democratic Party tried to attack El-Barr, but people in the mosque stopped them and they stayed inside," El-Sadek added.

In a separate incident, a leading Brotherhood member said he was attacked by thugs in Zagazig, Sharqiya governorate on Tuesday.

On Monday, clashes broke out between supporters and opponents of the president in Sharqiya leaving 11 injured, including a Central Security Forces officer.

Tensions have been rising between supporters and opponents of President Morsi as anticipated anti-government protests on Sunday draw nearer. The protests, called for by the Rebel campaign and supported by major opposition groups, aim to force Morsi to resign and call early presidential elections.

An alliance of Islamist parties announced on Monday that they would be holding an open-ended protest in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo’s Nasr City in support of the president.

Sharqiya is the home governorate of President Mohamed Morsi who was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood until he resigned from the group upon taking office.