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Friday violence proves Egypt faces organised terrorism: Cabinet

Cabinet media consultant Sherif Shawky argues Morsi supporters were given many chances, but Friday's violence proves 'organised terrorism' is afoot

Ahram Online , Saturday 17 Aug 2013

The Egyptian government’s media consultant Sherif Shawky asserts that the violence witnessed on Friday is proof "to the Egyptian people and the world as a whole that the state is facing organised terrorism."

Clashes ensued Friday, mainly between supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi - who were protesting being forced out from their sit-ins on Wednesday - and people residing in areas where they were protesting. Government buildings, police and fire stations and churches were also attacked.

Shawky claims that no steps had been taken against the pro-Morsi sit-ins until they proved to be "un-peaceful."

The government, he continued in his statement issued at the Cabinet headquarters, sought negotiations before starting the dispersal, but failed.

Demonstrators were also offered a safe road to leave the sit-ins and had been warned they would be dispersed, but the "Muslim Brotherhood leader incited violence."

“What happened yesterday is proof of Brotherhood assaults and shows how terrorist actions were responded to with high self-restraint," Shawky adds.

Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi asserted that Cabinet's initial mission was not security, but paving the road for Egypt to transition to a "democratic country."

"We aim for reconciliation, but not with those whose hands are smeared with blood, not with those who raised arms against the state, its institution and people. There is no reconciliation with those who broke the law," he said in a press briefing on Saturday. 

The Cabinet statement concluded by thanking the Arab countries that stood by Egypt.

On Friday, Saudi King Abdullah called on Arabs to stand together against "attempts to destabilise" Egypt, in a message of support for the military leadership and an attack on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Jordan said it backs Egypt's efforts to "impose rule of law" and "combat terrorism," in its first official reaction to the deadly crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

The UAE foreign ministry affirmed its "understanding of the sovereign measures taken by the Egyptian government after it had practised maximum self-restraint during the preceding period." It criticised what it said was the "insistence of groups of political extremists to make speeches that incite violence ... that led to [Wednesday's] sad events."

Bahrain said that the "measures taken by Egyptian authorities to restore peace and stability were to protect the rights of the Egyptian citizen, which the state is obliged to do."

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist allies had been protesting for six weeks in Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares since the military's ouster of Brotherhood-fielded president Mohamed Morsi after massive protests calling for early presidential elections. An interim government was installed with the approval of various leading opposition and clerical figures. The Brotherhood vowed to continue protesting until Morsi's reinstatement, but the government says these protests were not peaceful.

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