July 6, 2013

Clashes in Egypt kill at least 30, hurt 210

The Associated Press

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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. Tens of thousands of Islamists streamed across a Nile River bridge toward Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, threatening a showdown moments after the top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood defiantly spoke before a cheering crowd of supporters, vowing to reinstate ousted President Mohammed Morsi and end military rule. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

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Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi beat up an opponent during clashes where Maspero, Egypt's state tv and radio station is located, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 5, 2013. Tens of thousands of Islamists streamed across a Nile River bridge toward Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, threatening a showdown moments after the top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood defiantly spoke before a cheering crowd of supporters, vowing to reinstate ousted President Mohammed Morsi and end military rule. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

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Five policemen killed by militants in shootings around the Sinai city of el-Arish, according to security officials speaking on condition of anonymity because not authorized to talk to the press.

The U.S. State Department condemned the violence and called on all Egyptian leaders to denounce the use of force and prevent further bloodshed among their supporters.

"The voices of all who are protesting peacefully must be heard — including those who welcomed the events of earlier this week and those who supported President Morsi," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. "The Egyptian people must come together to resolve their differences peacefully."

Col. Ahmed Ali, a spokesman for the armed forces, said the Muslim Brotherhood was trying to "pick a fight" with the army and "drag it to a clash in order to send a message to the West that what happened in the country is a coup and that the military is cracking down on the peaceful protesters."

That mirrored a statement from an umbrella group of Morsi opponents — including the National Salvation Front and youth groups. The group urged the public to take to the streets immediately "to defend popular legitimacy" against what they called a "malicious plot" by the Brotherhood.

Islamists vowed to show by their numbers and the turmoil that the military had made a mistake by removing Morsi on Wednesday night. The action followed mass demonstrations for four days this week by the president's opponents in the biggest rallies the country has seen.

"The military got itself in a trap by taking one side. Now they see the masses in the streets and now they realized that there are two peoples," Hamada Nassar, a figure from the hard-line former militant group, Gamaa Islamiya, told AP.

An interim president — senior judge Adly Mansour — was sworn in Thursday, and a Cabinet of technocrats is to be formed to run Egypt until new elections can be held, although officials have not said when that will be. Mansour dissolved the interim parliament — the upper house of the legislature — which was overwhelmingly dominated by Islamists and Morsi allies. He also named the head of General Intelligence, Rafaat Shehata, as his security adviser.

The Islamists called rallies Friday to express their outrage at Morsi's ouster. The Brotherhood has said it will not work with the new military-backed leadership, and Morsi's supporters say the armed forces have wrecked Egypt's democracy by carrying out a coup against an elected president.

They accuse loyalists of former leader Hosni Mubarak, ousted in 2011, and liberal and secular opposition parties of turning to the army for help because they lost the election to Islamists. Many also see it as a conspiracy against Islam.

The turmoil began in the afternoon when army troops opened fire as hundreds of his supporters marched on the Republican Guard building in Cairo. That site is where Morsi was staying when he was toppled before being taken into military custody at an undisclosed location.

The crowd approached a barbed wire barrier where troops were standing guard. When one person hung a sign of Morsi on the barrier, soldiers tore it down and told the crowd to stay back. A protester put up a second sign, and the soldiers opened fire, according to an AP photographer.

A protester fell dead with a gaping, bleeding wound in the back of his head, while others were bloodied and wounded. Witnesses told AP Television News at the scene that men in plain clothes fired the lethal shots. The Health Ministry said a total of four were killed at the site, though it was not known how all died.

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Additional Photos

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An Egyptian military attack helicopter flies over the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday.

The Associated Press

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A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi prays on an Egyptian flag during the Friday prayer before a protest near the University of Cairo in Giza, Egypt.

The Associated Press

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A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi cries during a protest near the University of Cairo in Giza, Egypt, on Friday.

The Associated Press



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