Egypt's Rebel, NSF urge protesters to protect revolution as clashes erupt near Cairo's Tahrir

Ahram Online, Friday 5 Jul 2013

Egypt's Rebel campaign and National Salvation Front warn of factions seeking foreign intervention in Egypt, call on people to stand against 'counter-revolution'

Supporters and opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi clash on the 6 October bridge, near Maspero, where Egypt's state tv and radio station is located, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 5, 2013. (Photo: AP)

Clashes have taken place between opponents and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood near Cairo's Tahrir Square after anti-Morsi demonstrators quickly filled the square, following reports of violence in its vicinity.

The clashes on Cairo's 6 of October Bridge have left three killed and 199 injured during which pellets and rocks have been reportedly used.

Central Security Forces (CSF) and armoured personnel carriers (APC) intervened by firing teargas.

In Alexandria, political rivals are also clashing in the Sidi Gaber district, leaving 12 dead and more than 200 injured.

The Ministry of Health has reported 30 deaths in clashes nationwide, leaving over 400 injured. Five of the 30 were killed during an attack on police by unknown gunmen in the Sinai town of El-Arish in front of a government building.

Egypt’s Rebel campaign released a statement on Friday calling on Egyptians to converge on the squares and main streets of Egypt to protect the popular legitimacy and protect the revolution’s gains.

"The Egyptian people will not hesitate to protect their revolutionary legitimacy that has reflected the people’s will against the tyrants who do not want stability in Egypt," read the statement. The Rebel statement also warned against "foreign powers" that attempt to divide Egypt.

The campaign, which is widely credited for its role in mobilising the anti-Morsi mass protests that led to his removal on Wednesday, is asking for people to continue protesting until Sunday, which is scheduled to be "the greatest rally" nationwide.

"We affirm that there are clear attempts to smear our glorious revolution, attempts that seek to portray the people’s will as a military coup, which may lead to intervention by foreign forces in Egypt’s internal matters and which we won’t accept," read the statement.

Following the removal of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency, as demanded by millions on the street, a number of foreign states and entities accused the move of being a "coup d’etat."

The National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt's main opposition bloc, called on people to take to the streets for what he described as the Muslim Brotherhood's plot to "portray the situation as if there is a fight over legitimacy and pave the way for foreign intervention, like that which took place in Libya and Syria"

"The Egyptian people should defend the legitimacy of the people and its will to end the oppressive rule. They need to support the democratic transition that started with the statement read out by the armed forces in response to the people's will to start a transition period guided by a civil institution that reflects all forces. The people need to aid the armed forces to guard this achievement."

"We will not accept any foreign intervention in our internal affairs. We would sacrifice our souls for our freedom and that of our children."

The NSF called on all Egyptians to take to the streets to protest against what the statement described as the "counter-revolution."

Millions filled Egypt's streets last week demanding Mohamed Morsi to step down as president and for early elections.

In a televised conference attended by several political and religious figures on Wednesday, the General Commander of the Armed Forces Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi dismissed Mohamed Morsi from his post as president and proposed a new 'road map' for Egypt.

Hundreds of thousands of pro-Morsi supporters  held rallies across Egypt on Friday to protest what they label a "coup d'état" against the country's first democratically elected leader. While the main crowd is gathered at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo's Nasr City others demonstrated at the Republican Guards headquarters in Cairo's Heliopolis district where they believe Morsi is detained. Clashes erupted with the military, leaving at least four dead.

Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, who has been chased with media reports of his arrest, visited Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Nasr City where Morsi supporters have been holding their sit-in for over a week.

Speaking to the masses in the square, Badie called on Egypt’s military to return back to its barrack, asserting that they [Islamists] are defending the freedoms of Egyptians and not just one individual Mohamed Morsi.

"Protests in support of former president Mohamed Morsi are designed to increase the pressure for a political solution to the current crisis," Ahmed Sobei of the Muslim Brotherhood told Ahram Online.

Egypt’s Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya Islamist group, a key ally of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Mohamed Morsi, announced a proposal on Friday that includes holding a referendum on Morsi's return to power.

The hardline Islamist group, which strongly rejected Morsi's removal by the military, issued a statement with an initiative dubbed "protection for all the nation's sons" that entails holding a referendum to choose between Morsi's return to power and the army-sponsored post-Morsi roadmap.

The initiative also calls for reconciliation and rejects arbitrary punitive measures against "any faction, regardless of its affiliations."

Meanwhile, President Adly Mansour issued a presidential declaration dissolving the Islamist-dominated Shura Council and appointed General Mohamed Ahmed Fareed as head of General Intelligence.

Raafat Shehata, who had been appointed head of General Intelligence by Mohamed Morsi in September 2012, was given the role of presidential advisor for security affairs.

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