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Police funeral in Alexandria turns into anti-Brotherhood rally

Funeral for police officer slain in Monday's Presidential Guard clashes – in which more than 50 pro-Morsi protesters were killed – features banners and chants against Muslim Brotherhood

Ahram Online, Tuesday 9 Jul 2013

Thousands of mourners turned a funeral for a police officer into a protest against the Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday, blaming the man's death one day earlier on the embattled Islamist group in a scene seen frequently in recent months, Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website has reported.

First Lieutenant Mohamed El-Misiri, who had been posted to a police station in Cairo's Nasr City district, was killed early Monday during clashes between military forces and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi at Republican Guard headquarters.

Fifty-one pro-Morsi demonstrators were killed in the melee.

El-Misiri's funeral was held the next day in Alexandria.

At one point, mourners, including officers in uniform, held anti-Muslim Brotherhood placards, some of which read: "Mohamed El-Misiri was killed by Brotherhood bullets" and "Down with Brotherhood terrorism."

Funerals for other policemen recently killed in confrontations with Islamists witnessed similar anger towards the Brotherhood and ousted president Morsi – even before the latter's overthrow last week by the military.

Morsi, affiliated with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood group, was ousted on 3 July by military decree amid massive demonstrations to demand he step down, with Egyptian Armed Forces Commander Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi unveiling a "'roadmap" for Egypt’s political future.

Morsi was quickly detained, along with several other Brotherhood leaders, and banned from travelling.

Since days before his ouster, Morsi's supporters, led by the Brotherhood, have been staging a massive sit-in outside Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo's Nasr City.

Demonstrators in Nasr City, along with other protests taking place across Egypt, demand Morsi's release and reinstatement as president.

Pro-Morsi protesters at Rabaa Al-Adawiya, including controversial Islamic preacher Safwat Hegazi, believe the ousted president is being held at the nearby Republican Guard headquarters.

Before the recent clashes, Hegazi had said that Morsi was being detained either at the Republican Guard headquarters or the nearby defence ministry, warning of "unimaginable" escalations if he was not released.

Both the army and Morsi's supporters have traded accusations regarding who started the violence.

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