News Column

Muslim Brotherhood Plans Mass Rallies

July 5, 2013

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has called for mass rallies on Friday to protest the army's overthrow of Mohammed Morsi and a crackdown on other senior members of the movement.

Clashes between Brotherhood supporters and opponents have raised fears of deadly violence over the military's decision to depose and arrest Morsi, who won Egypt's first democratic presidential election with a narrow margin last year.

Rival protesters clashed in Al-Arish, a city in the Sinai Peninsula near Israel. A police car was torched in the violence.

Gunmen attacked army and police checkpoints in Sinai, killing one soldier and injuring three others, a security official said. Army helicopters destroyed a car carrying weapons and explosives, witnesses reported.

The army said it would allow protests as long as they are peaceful.

The Brotherhood has vowed to boycott a national dialogue called for by interim president Adli Mansour, a top judge who was sworn in on Thursday.

"We categorically reject the military coup, which was against an elected president and the will of the people, and refuse to participate in any action with those who usurped power and responded violently to peaceful demonstrations," it said on its website.

The army has arrested senior Brotherhood leaders.

The brotherhood's Misr25 television channel, and at least two other channels associated with hardline Islamist have been off-air since Wednesday.

The army's removal of Morsi, who is being held at a secret location, followed unprecedented protests at the weekend by millions of Egyptians to demand he step down.

His liberal opponents accuse him of failing to stop the economy from deteriorating and focusing instead on pushing the interests of the Brotherhood.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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