Two days after an Egyptian military coup overthrew Mohammed Morsi, the country’s first freely-elected President, his supporters engaged in what the Muslim Brotherhood called a “Friday of Rejection” consisting of protests and rallies. These protests quickly turned violent, with five Morsi supporters killed and others wounded in a clash with armed soldiers outside the Republican Guard compound where Morsi was initially, and may continue to be, detained.
Protesters at Tahrir Square and on the 6th October Bridge in Cairo threw rocks, Molotov cocktails, missiles, and fireworks at each other. At least one person has been reported dead as a result of these confrontations. Violent protests are also reported in other cities across Egypt, including Alexandria.
Mohammed Badie, a Muslim Brotherhood leader believed arrested in the anti-Morsi crackdown that followed his ouster, appeared at a rally at the Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque to assert that those reports were false. Although Mr. Badie has not been arrested, hundreds of other Morsi supporters have been detained. Some of the senior Muslim Brotherhood aides previously arrested were released today. Interim President Adly Mansour continued dismantling the Morsi government, however, by announcing the formal dissolution of the Shura Council, the nation’s only remaining house of Parliament. State television stations have allegedly largely ignored Friday’s pro-Morsi demonstrations and all pro-Morsi stations have been closed.
Egyptian news reports claim that armed Morsi supporters attacked four security force positions on the Sinai Peninsula early Friday, killing one soldier and injuring two others with a rocket attack on a Rafah police post. The other attacks were aimed at military checkpoints in Sinai’s El Arish airport. The border crossing to the Gaza Strip has been closed and will remain so indefinitely.
Prosecutor-general Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, who had originally been appointed by Mubarak and was dismissed by Morsi, was reinstated Thursday by the interim government. He resigned almost immediately, stating that he wished to “avoid the embarrassment of making judicial decisions against those who removed me from office.”
On an international level, the African Union has suspended Egypt from its activities for violating its rules regarding the suspension of constitutional rule. A statement from United Nations human rights official Navi Pillay said, “There should be no more violence, no arbitrary detention, no illegal acts of retribution. Serious steps should also be taken to halt, and investigate, the appalling – and at times seemingly organized – sexual violence targeting women protesters.”
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