Friday,20 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1158, (25 - 31 July 2013)
Friday,20 October, 2017
Issue 1158, (25 - 31 July 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Where chaos rules

Violent clashes stirred by Morsi supporters threaten to push reconciliation beyond reach, reports Ahmed Morsy

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Al-Ahram Weekly

On Monday afternoon hundreds of Mohamed Morsi loyalists clashed with protesters who were holding a sit-in in Tahrir Square. It was reported that the clashes started when pro-Morsi protesters were marching towards the US embassy, close to Tahrir.
A video published on Al-Badil website and then widely circulated showed dozens of pro-Morsi protesters on Qasr Al-Nil Bridge firing at people in Tahrir Square soon after clashes began. One person was killed and 26 injured in the confrontation.
Demonstrators from both sides threw rocks and exchanged birdshot. Police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators as army vehicles intervened to separate the two sides. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) tweeted a denial of reports of the incident and claimed its protests were peaceful despite filmed evidence to the contrary.
Earlier on the same day a senior Brotherhood figure, claiming the US played a key role in ousting Morsi, called on protesters to “besiege” the US embassy and expel the ambassador.
Essam Al-Erian, deputy head of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, claimed on Monday that “the American role in the coup is clear and cannot be hidden.”
In Shubra Al-Kheima, Qalioubiya governorate, 10 people were injured from birdshot when violence erupted between supporters of Morsi, who were staging a march, and local residents. Birdshot and live ammunition are reported to have been used. Order was restored when the Central Security Forces intervened to control the situation.
Elsewhere in Qalioubiya province on the same day two people were shot dead according to Al-Ahram Arabic website. A medical official told the website that another three had been injured in the unrest: two were hit by a train while fleeing gunfire and one was hit by birdshot. Security forces managed to reopen the Cairo-Alexandria agricultural road, which the website reported had been closed for six hours by Morsi’s supporters.
In Suez 112 people were injured in clashes between supporters of ousted president Morsi and local residents in Al-Arbaeen Square on Sunday night. Two children were reported among the injured. Live ammunition and birdshot were used in the clashes.
“What is going on lessens the chances of negotiations or any compromise formula being reached with the Muslim Brotherhood,” says Al-Sayed.
Tensions are running high in Egypt three weeks after the ouster of Morsi. Around 100 people have died in clashes since he was removed from office on 3 July.
“The Brotherhood does not realise that these manifestations of violence are diminishing the group in the eyes of the public and are pushing the chances of reconciliation out of reach,” warns Al-Sayed.
The National Alliance for Legitimacy Support, a coalition of Islamist parties led by the MB, has been staging protests and sit-ins across Cairo and other governorates.
It is high time, says political scientist Hassan Nafaa, that the MB adopts an alternative strategy. “The ongoing confrontations won’t isolate the army. It will be fully supported by the people and that won’t do any favours for the Brotherhood.”
Nafaa also says that Morsi should either be released from wherever the army is holding him or charges must be filed and the former president sent to trial.
The current regime, warns Nafaa, “must prove to the Egyptian people and the world that it is keener than its predecessors to apply, respect and abide by the law”.

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