July 5, 2013

Egyptian military rounds up Muslim Brotherhood leaders

The crackdown comes as Egypt's authorities install an interim president.


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Mansour, the 67-year-old jurist tapped to be president, told reporters that he would seek to include all elements of society in an interim coalition.

"The Brotherhood are part of the people, and they are invited to take part in building the country," he said. "There will be no exclusion for anyone."

Mansour also pledged to uphold the constitution, but the meaning of that promise was unclear: A constitution ratified under Morsi, which rights groups and opposition activists criticized as failing to protect the rights of women and minorities, was suspended by the army Wednesday night.

The arrests of prominent Islamists deepens the quandary facing the Obama administration, which has refrained from criticizing Egypt's military for overthrowing a democratically elected president.

Obama met with his national security team in the Situation Room to discuss Egypt, and top U.S. officials called Egyptian and other officials in the region to stress the importance of quickly returning full authority to a freely elected civilian government and avoiding violence, the White House said. An administration official said the White House also pressed for assurances that U.S. personnel in Egypt would be protected.

Administration officials have avoided referring to the crisis as a coup, a finding that would require the U.S. government to cut off financial aid to the country.


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